The gadget I had used for Dr. Krone's job was just a little box made from pieces of white sheet plastic. I had put a hole in the top of the box to hold the magnetic head, and glued on some little guides to keep the tape in place as it moved over the head. By connecting the reader head to a little amplifier, I had a tape reader!
I began to think about improving my device and making them to sell to others. Before long I had other people involved in my project. My friend, John Morley, an expert airplane engineer, thought I had a good idea. With his help, we designed a metal box. Something heavier than plastic was needed to hold the tape. One of us had the idea of painting the box with a paint that, when heated, would leave a "crinkly" attractive surface. What better place to experiment than in Darlene's oven? Of course, we weren't prepared for the awful stink that paint would make. Believe me, it was several hours before that kitchen was inhabitable!
Next, we decided we needed an attractive box to house the amplifier. That's where my friend, Don Figge, a design artist, came into the picture. Don had done design work for me on lots of the audiovisual catalogs and also on TRAFCO projects.
"Unfortunately your unit does not fit into our line of products," the representative of the company said, after my demonstration.
I went home disappointed, but I had a nice stopover in Kansas to visit my folks anyway. A firm in Los Angeles showed some interest initially, but later decided to give it up. That was another disappointment.
Finally, John Morley and I decided to manufacture and distribute my reader on our own.
I still believe my reader was a good idea. The right promotion expert might have really made a success of my idea. Several of my readers were used in Cinema for a number of years. In fact, years later, after we had been in Maryland for eleven years, and had returned to California, one of the staff members called to ask me if I had any more of those readers. Unfortunately, I had none.
Back to the Main Story!