In the San Mateo Daily there is an interesting story on the founding of AMPEX and that their sign has been taken down and is looking for a new home.
Recording on discs was standard for the broadcast industry in the United States before Ampex changed the game. Discs were easily subject to shock, vibration and temperature changes. The other option was wire recording which was mainly used as a dictation device.
The Germans were way ahead. In 1938, magnetic tape was standard in Germany and by 1941 all German radio stations were using high-fidelity Magnetophons. A typical radio day in Germany would include live and taped speeches by Nazi officials, interspersed with taped music and commentary. Such flexibility would not come to American radio for nearly 10 more years.
and this classic in the comments:
loucovey Sep 10, 2018 1:18pm – It would be nice if these paeans to Ampex included some of the contributions the company made to the local neighborhood in Redwood City. Things like the elimination of open space, the security guards running off non employees from the fountain areas, the use of Proposition 13 to stop paying virtually any property tax, for not making any contribution to the community at all, for their shortsighted management of marketing and finance that caused the layoffs for hundreds of workers, the traffic impact on the community from out of town employees, increasing the flooding of south Redwood City by forcing runoff into the Friendly Acres and the mobile home parks. Yess, they were a great neighbor…. and good riddance to that sign.