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Talking Book Machine - Clarke & Smith, circa 1950s Object Reg. No: SH 931169

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.
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.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind (RVIB), 1993
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 22.00 cm (Height), 36.00 cm (Width), 33.00 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: libraries, literature, visual impairment, talking books
Themes this item is part of: Cultural Diversity Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: MEDICINE & HEALTH
Secondary Classification: Health Organisations
Tertiary Classification: special needs equipment
Inscriptions: On machine: 'Tape/Talking Book.'
On cassette: 'Manufactured for/ Nuffield Talking Book Library for the Blind/by/Clarke & Smith Mfg. Co. Ltd/ Wallington, Surrey'
On back of case: 'Manufactured by/Clarke & Smith, Mfg. Co. Ltd/Wallington/Surrey'
Manufacturer: Clarke & Smith Mfg. Co. Ltd., Wallington, England, Great Britain, circa 1950s
User: Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind (RVIB), Prahran, Victoria, Australia, circa 1950s-1980s

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