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Presto 850 tape recorder
advertisement from Audio, December 1959
The 850 tape recorder came too late to save the Presto company from being surpassed by the smaller and cheaper stereo recorders of Ampex and Magnecord. The Presto Recording Corporation was incorporated in March 1934 to manufacture an aluminum recording disc coated with cellulose nitrate lacquer. This Presto disc became the professional standard in the radio and recording industry, was used by the NBC Radio Recording Division that started in 1935, and by the CBS radio recording service in 1938. It was used for the recording of the Hindenburg disaster May 6, 1937. The company merged in 1956 to become the Bogen-Presto division of the Unitronics Corporation, the blank disc production was sold to Reeves/Soundcraft, and Presto focused on making lathes and recorders and amplifiers. Unitronics merged in 1962 with Lear Inc. to become Lear-Siegler. By 1965 Presto was out of business and its factory in Paramus NJ closed.
For more information on Presto recorders and lathes and lacquer discs, visit the Presto History website from Alan C Graves.
Return to Recording Technology History | this page revised Feb. 24, 2000, by Schoenherr