Blast from the Past – RCA Victor Tape Cartridges

It’s 1957.  Audiophilia is in its infancy.  You’re considered what we now call an “early adopter.” Holiday parties at your house are legendary – the cocktails are free-flowing and cold, hors d’oeuvres like the Peanut Butter-Catchup Dip and Speedy Tuna Dunk are real hits, and lampshades regularly make their way onto guests’ heads. Not only do you have scads of LPs for hours of listening enjoyment, you also have a reel-to-reel player.  However, you discover a problem when you go to switch the reels.  You’ve had a few Boilermakers and your once steady hands are covered in the juice from the grilled pineapple & ham kabobs!  Threading the reels has become a daunting task.

Luckily, though, the folks at RCA Victor have run into the same problem and in 1958, they introduced the Magazine Loading Cartridge.

Seemed like a great idea, right?  Well, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), RCA was so slow in licensing prerecorded music for their giant cartridges and they couldn’t keep up with the demand for the home playback machines.  By 1964, the product was scrubbed.  Sony had also developed a similar product, but that too failed by the mid-70’s.

Did you or your family enjoy this newfangled way to listen?  Would you have been an early adopter of this technology?  Do you still have one hidden in your basement?  Let us know in the comments!

One thought on “Blast from the Past – RCA Victor Tape Cartridges

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