Revolutionary new memory storage medium: Magnetic tape

That’s right.  The new digital magnetic tape transport is a revolution in computer data storage.  The device, manufactured by Ampex Corporation, provides high speed start and stop and machine to machine compatibility.

Ok, no, I’m not drinking anything.  The title and the blurb above are from a nifty web site that I frequent but have not written about.  Call Modern Mechanix, the site features stories from a variety on magazines from days gone by.  The Ampex ad struck me as quaint.  The device they are advertising cost $2675 in 1956.  Apparently, it was quite a big deal that its tapes were compatible from machine to machine.  Since this thing predates me by a few years, I don’t know much about it.

Modern Mechanix is a wealth of information many things, technical and social.  I’ve explored much of the space, computer and technology aspects of the site, but there is quite a bit more.  The magazines are all real and so are the stories-as far fetched as a few of them seem.  It is fun to read the overly optimistic articles, especially those from the 1930’s and the 1950’s.  The tone of many of them get a bit less optimistic in the ‘60s, which, I suppose, makes sense given the social upheaval of the decade.

Other interesting things I have seen include the atomic bomb blast dummy, the innovative television remote control (it was a flashlight that you would point at one of the four corners of the TV cabinet) and the tiny grand piano-that you play with a toothpick!  Good stuff.

Oh, that piano…it took FOUR craftsmen SIX months to build. It was two inches square…You just have to read about it here.


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