Minifon model P55 dictating machine with accessories, 1955-1965

Made:
1955-1965 in Hamburg
maker:
Protona GmbH
Minifon model P55 dictating machine with accessories, 1955-1965

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Minifon model P55 dictating machine with accessories, 1955-1965
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Dictating machine, Minifon model P55, complete with accessories such as earphone, foot control pedal and adaptors, in fitted case, made by Protona GmBH, Hamburg, 1955-1965.

The Minifon P55 miniature portable wire recorder and dictaphone was manufactured by Protona in Hamburg, West Germany from 1955 to the mid 1960s. The Minifon P55 was originally designed as a portable dictating machine for traveling salesman, the small size being able to fit in a pocket so that it could be taken ‘on the road’. However, this didn’t take off. Instead, it achieved much more success as a covert recording device for private investigators, detectives, intelligence operatives, and spies. It had a recording time of 2.5-5 hours ('short' vs 'long' mode), which, compared to other devices on the market at the time, was very long.

Before magnetic tape was available, speech was recorded on magnetic wire, in this case very fine 0.005 mm diameter nickel-chrome wire. At the time, this machine was the smallest wire recorder available.

Details

Category:
Sound Reproduction
Object Number:
1993-856
type:
sound recorder