MN-61 wire recorder
Date of creation: 1961
This picture shows the Soviet military wire recorder MN-61. It belongs to the same group of electromagnetic wire recorders as the Webster Chicago recorder and the Minifon P55. As in the Minifon, the number in the device name indicates the year when it was developed. The MN-61 is the ground-based version of the wire recorders that were installed on airplanes, and could be used to play back recordings made with both systems. It was used until at least the 1980s. Weighing 12 kg, it exemplifies the sturdy design typical of military hardware. One reel of wire could hold 5.5 hours of audio.
This photograph was taken by Nikita Braguinski at the Media Studies department, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, in April 2018. The unit shown here is part of the department’s collection of historical devices, the Media Archaeological Fundus (accession no. 311). Its operation can be seen in the accompanying video.