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Recorded magnetically on a flat disk of magnetic material this item was used as a dictation machine.
The EMIdicta worked similar to a disc-cutting lathe but with a flat magnetic recording disc. The head is in the arm above. The recording discs are made of the same material as magnetic tape. Date of manufacture could be as early as 1948.

Your comments:

  • I have an example of this machine, presumably later. It is similar in design to the one shown on the British Library website - but theirs is spring-motor driven, whereas mine is mains driven. It is complete and in excellent condition, with (torn) canvas cover and about 4 blank disks. Last time I tried it (about 15 years ago) it worked, but I didn't want to stress the valves by trying it again.
    .......... Doug Maclean, Nairn, Scotland, 7th of February 2023

  • Re Dictaphone. As a engineer for Dictaphone for 18 years i can correct you regarding the recording medium. American Dictaphone,s used a Red plastic belt that was not magnetic. a groove was embossed into the surface,( This made the recording safe from tampering and there for legal in law. When president Kennedy was assassinated LBJ Johnson was sworn into office on a P6.later English Models used a blue belt and embossed recording groove.
    Later American Models P7 used a magnetic belt recording and also a model called the DICTECT which used a micro small tape cassette in around the late 1960s. Later Dictaphone bought out ULTRAVOX this used a A4 sized magnet sheet that was loaded into a slot on the revolving drum, I think they were a Swiss company and sound quality was good.

    ED. Refers to last comment.
    .......... Ian E Smith, LEIGH ON SEA ESSEX UK, 22nd of June 2019

  • The Emidicta was an attempt by EMI to break into the lucrative office dictation machine market. The brand leader, at that time, was the Dictaphone which, unlike its rivals, used an easily manageable, ferro-magnetic belt - The Dictabelt, instead of tape. A recording head, mounted on a lead screw, moved across the belt producing a helical track.
    EMI applied their gramophone experience and came up with The Emidicta. This substituted a 12" or 7" ferro-magnetic disc, as the recording medium, running on a high quality turntable.
    The quality was far superior to the Dictaphone, due to EMI's experience in audio technology. The machines, however, were many times larger, clumsier and more difficult to operate than a Dictaphone and so were a relative failure.
    It was, however, the world's first ever flexible, ferro-magnetic, recording disc (Floppy Disk) and led directly to the following spin offs, in order: The Ampex Television, Slow Motion Machine. The 12", 8" and 3.25" computer Floppy Disks. All the various sizes of computer Hard Disks currently available.
    Only when the last magnetic storage media is consigned to history, in favour of totally Solid State Storage, will the influence of The Emidicta truly come to a close.
    .......... Stuart C. Yearsley, Bolton, Greater Manchester, England., 2nd of June 2015

  • I have an old cardboard box (sadly now empty) which has on it a label with the following interesting wording that seems to relate to this item. "CERTIFICATE" "THIS CASE COMPLIES WITH SPECIFICATION NO. 13200 RECORD AT THE RAILWAYS CLEARING HOUSE AND IS APPROVED FOR THE CONVEYANCE OF AN EMIDICTA TYPIST CONTROL EXPERIMENTALLY, AT THE COMPANY'S RISK.
    .......... John Hubert, Pencader, West Wales, UK, 10th of October 2013

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