Interesting that Lee Munsick mentioned magnetic tape recording
[020507 MMDigest, Paper Music Media vs. Magnetic Music Media].
I heard a speech by Dr. Clarence Hickman, who was none other than
the inventor of the Ampico model B and later hired as a research and
development scientist for the army during the war. He said that the
wire recorder was invented by the Dutch, not the Germans, but the
Germans developed it to use in the war. When he heard them perform,
he said to himself that this is much good. I could design something
that would be much better. So according to Dr. Hickman, he developed
an iron oxide formula and glued it to a thin paper-like backing called
gutta percha, and the first paper tape recorder was born. According
to Dr. Hickman, tape recording is an all-American invention.
[ More at http://www.bassboy.com.au/getreel/articles/history.htm
[ This web site modestly says that it is "possibly the most
[ comprehensive collection of information about reel to reel tape
[ recording on the entire planet!" At the History page is "1930 --
[ Bell Telephone Laboratories initiates a major research effort in
[ magnetic tape recording under the direction of Clarence N. Hickman."
[ -- Robbie