March 02, 2008
The The Ampex Signature V. The first domestic video recorder. In 1963 this unit was offered in the Neiman-Marcus catalog for $30,000 It was nine feet long and weighed 900 pounds. The video portion of the system included the Black & White reel-to-reel video recorder with TV tuner and automatic timer as well as a home television camera.
The cabinet also housed a complete audio system including an AM/FM tuner, stereo amplifier, record player, reel-to-reel audio recorder, and stereo loudspeakers. A colour TV was viewable from the front of the console, while all other components were accessed from the top. The $30,000 price tag included a personalized plaque and installation by an Ampex service engineer
The Philips N1500 VCR with analogue clock from 1972. Everyone agrees that this was the first domestic cassette recorder
Much more at The Museum of early consumer electronics Rewind museum
A Huge Depository of Unusual ‘First Ever’ Stories Here
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I think the government still uses those...
Posted by: C Richey at Mar 3, 2008 1:20:53 AM
That is an awesome bit of history.
I actually still have an Ampex reel-to-reel audio deck from the 1960s that was my grandfather's. I used to have two, the older which was very early, but was given to a neighbor when I was a kid.
The unit still works, although I think needs some new belts. My grandfather loved the thing, recording all sorts of stuff, especially the kids and grandkids singing and just generally being goofy.
Years later, when I moved to the SF Bay area in California, I noticed Ampex's old headquarters along Hwy 101 near Redwood City. The sign was still there as of a couple years ago, and maybe they still exist. But their complex had long since been surrounded and dwarfed by other office buildings.
It was neat to see their HQ and that big AMPEX logo/sign after having tinkered with their product so much as a kid.
A friend of mine who once visited their offices said they had a whole museum/showcase of all the awards(Emmys, Oscars, etc) that Ampex had won over the decades for their audio gear.
Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 3, 2008 9:01:06 AM