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CBC Digital Archives


Old TV and radio programs aren't the only vintage discoveries you'll make in the CBC Archives - there's also a lot of old equipment kicking around. Some have outlived their usefulness. Other pieces will have a role as long as there's old video and audio material that needs repair and replaying. Here's a sample of some finer pieces:


An oven is used to dry out some ¼-inch analog tapes, so that they can be played and transferred to a digital format.

Wire recorder

This odd-looking machine is a forerunner to the tape recorder. Instead of recording onto tape, it recorded onto wire. A portable version of this device was used by Second World War radio correspondents.

Acetate engraver

Another strange-looking device, this machine is an engraver for acetate disks. It is equipped with a microscope and a tiny vacuum designed to remove the thin strip of acetate cut from the discs during recording.

Tape recorder

It may look like a washing machine, but this equipment actually makes recordings on magnetic tape.


This turntable is designed to play acetate disks from an earlier era. Unlike newer records, some of these discs were recorded to play from the inside out.

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