Talking Book Machine with tape manufactured by Clarke & Smith, circa 1950s. It was used at the Royal Victorian Instituite for the Blind.

Talking books were first introduced to the RVIB in 1936. The early models were discs and record players made by Decca and commisssioned by the National Institute for the Blind and St. Dunstans. Cassette tapes and players were introduced later. Cassettes were distributed by post or train in strong 'Globite' cases made with reinforced corners and strapped.

The cassette tape is marked 'M482' which probably refers to a catalogue number for the RVBI Library. When one track was finished, the user was required to lift the metal cassette, turn it over, and replace it on the turntable.

Physical Description

Multi-track tape talking book machine, in brown wooden case, with cassette encased in metal sheathing included in place. A paper label in the lid of the wooden case gives instructions for use. The book is 'Persuasion' by Jane Austen. It has 17 tracks. There are two plastic knobs in the front of the case, a speaker inside the case, and an electric cord at the back. A leather handle on the side of the case allows it to be carried.

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