Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Bell+Howell Tape Player The Color Of A Washing Machine


My earliest memories of using cassettes was in grade school. We had these shoebox shaped Bell + Howell tape recorders that were chunky enough to take a pounding from children and panicked teachers alike. This was a bit before you could get a tape player that had cartoonish "kid safe" proportions and friendly colors. Everything was either gray, or a much darker gray. When my father bought a similar shoebox, it at least had some silver detailing, but for the most part these tape recorders were not only monophonic, but monochromatic as well.

In 1972 it seems that B+H was interested in catering to a new kind of portable taping enthusiast. I found a newspaper article discussing rolling out the 4350 TRM tape recorder, saying that portables were a growing market for cassette consumers. I suppose that catering to homes rather than institutions, B+H told teir designers to create something a bit more Space:1999. Check out the plasticky curves on this thing, to say nothing of the choice of avocado green & almond plastic. In fact, let's agree to say nothing about the avocado green...

For those of us who grew up suffused in avocado green appliances, the tape recorder the same shade might be a bit much. Though I still like the "futuristic" lines of the device. The lugs on the side are probably for a shoulder strap. Not that you would sling it over your shoulder as a proto-Walkman (especially if you only had one of those pink bud things to listen to your tapes), but it was handy for on the move reportage or nature recording. After close to 40 years, it's perhaps unfair to judge the audio quality, let's just be amazed that it still works. Just like the avocado stove, fridge, washer, dryer and blender that are still at my mother's house...

Montgomery Ward projector in avocado green

Tom's Tiny tape recorders
Pre-iPod shiny plastic earbud


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