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BLANK.gif BLANK.gif This will take you to information about GE and Peirce recordigns This will take you to information about Webster- Chicago recordings You are here, you will find information about wire recordings in this section

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         Old Recordings    Discs    Tapes    Wires    Dictation Belts    Other Media

Webster-Chicago Wire System
Webster-Chicago Wire Recorders were the basic manufacturers of this consumer format from 1947/8 to the early 1950s. This is one of a family of recorders using the same wire spool size which also included Silvertone Air King, Fidelitone, Pentron, Soundmagnet and Wiremaster.

Webster Reel box         Webster Reels
                     Wire containers                                   Wire Reels

Webster type stainless-steel wire was sold on spools which, regardless of playing time, are the same diameter, about 2-3/4" and " wide. One hour spools were filled to the edge while others occupied less space around the core. Some had the recording time stamped on the bottom of the spool.

Broken or tangled wires are not unusual. Sometimes I can fix broken ones, but a mare's nest tangle of wire is hopeless and I don't work on them. Fatal internal damage is often hidden by the outer winding so sometimes I can only recover part of the recording. Though I have rebuilt and recalibrated my machines, I make no guarantees at all on wire restoration work.

At best, their fidelity is limited- perhaps medium quality AM. There are defects in the design of many recorders which records as hum. I reduce (but sometimes can't completely remove) it. Processing time includes an initial playing and rewinding to remove or reduce the accumulated kinks in the wire after many years on the spool.

COSTS: If there are no unusual problems, transfering a 15 minute wire to the computer costs about $ 135, 30 minute $ 200, 1 hour, $ 275. Making the first CD from the sound file is $ 30 and each additional CD made at the same time is $ 20.

Microphone and machine electronic clicks from the off-on switches can be louder than what was otherwise recorded. Removing or reducing these takes about 1.5 times the playing time. Should this seem to me be an intrusive problem, I'll notify you and let you decide if the cost is worth the added clarity.


smolians@erols.com         Phone:301-694-5134

This site 2001 Steven Smolian rev. 1