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Byer Magnofilm

First Magnofilm Press Release

"A new low priced tape recorder is shortly to be released known as the "Magnofilm Tape Deck". This is a simplified tape recorder and player which obtains its driving power by the use of existing 33 1/3 and 78 r.p.m. turntables to be found in broadcasting stations. The unit contains an oscillator and equalizer and is capable of recording from programme at levels common in broadcasting stations and is claimed to be of broadcast quality for professional use. This model is known as the PT-16.

Another model known as the AT-12 will be a cheaper type for use by amateurs and home recordists. This unit is provided with a permanent magnet for erasure and permits simple installation with existing turntables and amplifiers."

The above news item from the IRE proceeding Sept 1951 is the first reference I've found to the Magnofilm products. The only other reference is in Radio and Hobbies Sept 1951. So far I have not been able to locate any equipment or advertising material for the PT-16 or AT-12. This leads me to believe that if any units were made for sale the quantities were very small.

Early in the 1950's tape recording equipment was expensive. At this time if you wanted to make recordings at home and had a limited budget then building your own equipment was one of the few options you had. Byer Industries produced the low cost Magnofilm TM-1 tape deck which used a standard turntable to drive the tape. The TM-1 was simpler in concept to the PT-16 as no electronics were in the deck.

Gray Magnofilm TM-1

In thirty eight years of collecting Byer Industries products the above TM-1 is the only one I had found, it is serial number 152.

Brown Magnofilm TM-1

Then recently two more came along. One brown, serial number 50, pictured here and the other s/n 194 which is similar to my first Magnofilm. It is reasonable speculate that at least 200 of the Magofilm TM-1 were made but at the moment I can only guess a serial number between 51 and 151 for the colour change.

Underside of Brown Magnofilm TM-1

Underside of the TM-1 showing connections and drive belt.

Radio and Hobbies Project using the TM-1

This picture is taken from Radio and Hobbies Jan 1954 "More About Tape Recorder No. 2". Showing the Magnofilm TM-1 incorporated into the project. Byer Industries heavily advertised the TM-1 in Radio and Hobbies from the early to mid 1950's.

Magnofilm Advertisement #1

This is one of the many advertisements featuring the Magnofilm TM-1 from Radio and Hobbies in the 1950's.

You could record and replay tape with the TM-1 when a suitable amplifier was connected, however, there was no erase head and if you wanted erase tape you had to use a bulk eraser. Byer Industries naturally had a bulk eraser the BE-1.

Magnofilm Advertisement #2

To make it easier for the less technical user Byer Industries also sold some electronics for the Magnofilm, the McLellan E.A.3. Tape Converter.