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The Tape Age

When historians look back in time, they tend to name certain periods of mankind with broad names: the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Renaissance, and so on. What name would the 20th century be known by?

On January 18, 1962, Jesse Bogue, writing for UPI, went out on a limb and predicted that the 20th-century would forever be known as the Tape Age. You may laugh at that statement, but magnetic tape was everywhere at the time.  Besides the obvious recorded voice and image, magnetic tape was used for storing computer data, helping to guide planes & missiles, and just about anything else where information needed to be stored.

3M divisional Vice President Dr. W.W. Wetzel stated, “Magnetic tape and the tape recorder have become the pencil and paper of the electronic age.” Personally, I think that the author should have paid more attention to that quotation.  The electronic age may be a more appropriate name than the Tape Age for the twentieth century.

A 1949 Reel-to-Reel Tape Recorder
A 1949 Reel-to-Reel Tape Recorder

This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim.

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