S. Joseph Begun

Born: 1905
Birthplace: (Danzig, Germany, now Gdansk Poland)

Magnetic recording— Early recording machines of the 1920s were cumbersome at best. Sound was recorded magnetically on rapidly spinning reels of steel wire, and editing could only be done with wire cutters and welding equipment. In 1934, Begun built the first tape recorder for broadcasting, which was later used in the 1936 Olympics. After WWII, he continued to work on magnetic recording media based on coating paper and plastic tape with ferrmagnetic powder suspensions. Begun developed the first consumer tape recorder in the U.S. under the trade name Sound Mirror. He also negotiated the first sourcing agreement for magnetic tape with 3M—which later became a billion-dollar product line. (1998)

Died: 1995