Stories Organisations Projects About Login

Object - Clarke & Smith talking book player

From the Collection of Vision Australia 454 Glenferrie Road Kooyong Victoria

Metal record player housed in a brown wooden carry case, with a speaker grill in the front, two plastic dials on the side and an electric cord extending from the back of the case.
24cm x 34cm x 37cm.
Object Registration
audio equipment
Historical information
The first tape based talking book machine from the late 1950s, produced by Clarke & Smith, that allowed the listener to hear up to 20 hours of recordings. Although bulky (each tape cartridge alone weighed over 2 kgs), the MK1 was the first magnetic, multi-track tape produced and considered quite novel for it's time.

The cartridge designed to be played on the Clarke & Smith Model12 Talking Book gramophone was designed to house the pick up mechanism (the phono cartridge which contains the stylus) in the lid, so that visually impaired people could just close the lid to play the record. Initially these players designed to handle only 24 rpm, but soon added 33 rpm and 16 rpm options via the dial located on the left hand corner of the disk base. Directions for using as well as reminders to use on alternating current only are located inside the lid. On the side of the player are two plastic dials: one for turning on and volume, the other for tone.
When Made
Made By
Clarke & Smith (Maker)
Inscriptions & Markings
Manufactured for Nuffield Talking Book Library
Last updated
21 Mar 2020 at 4:40PM