Click Here For A Larger Closeup Photo

Walkie-Recordall, -Circa 1930's, 1940's
The Walkie-Recordall was a portable audio recorder that recorded to a plastic type belt (see photos below).The belt was called a Sonoband. The recorder measures10.5 x 5 x 9 with the thing closed up. A needle etched the sound onto the Sonoband. The belt measures 16.5 x 1.75. The Walkie-Recorderall was developed as a dictation machine. The idea was that salesman and business people could carry the thing around and dictate memos which could later be typed up into business reports on typewriters. However, the Walkie Recordall never went over very well for that. However, because of it's portability and recording power, it was quickly adapted as a covert audio recorder by law enforcement and private investigators. It was highly popular in the 1930's and 1940's. it retailed for about $450.00. That was a lot of money then considering the fact that the average sold middle income paycheck about between $45.00 and $55.00 a week. That is over two months pay for a recorder. The Sonoband belt would record for about an hour. That was a really a long play recorder back then. Later models had Sonobands that would record several hours.

You can learn more about the Walkie Recordall from these web site links

The History Of Sound Recording

Links on the Walkie Recordall From The Reel2Reel Museum

Museum Rescues 'Endangered' Recordings

Walkie-Recordall Ad

Walkie-Recordall Ad Two

Some Photos by James Greenwold, Tactical Surveillance Inc
Top Photos By Ralph Thomas

Note: There is one Walkie Recordall in the collection of Ralph Thomas' PI Vintage-The Spy And Private-Eye Museum, and another Walkie Recordall in James Greenwold's Tactical Surveillance, Inc. collection. Thomas and Greenwold are in collaboration in the collection of a lot of this kind of stuff along with Ben Harroll of the PI Museum in California.

From The Ralph D. Thomas PI Vintage Collection
THOMAS INVESTIGATIE PUBLICATIONS, INC.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INVESTIGATIVE SPECIALISTS, INC.
SPY EXCHANGE AND SECURITY CENTER
P O Box 82148, Austin, Texas 78708
Showroom: 9513 Burnet Road, Austin, Texas 78758
Phone 512.719.3595 Fax 512.719.3594
Email: RThomas007@aol.com

Review Current State-of-The-Art Investigative Audio Recorders

Review Current State-of-The-Art Investigative Audio Recorders

THE TAPE RECORDER SHOP!
LONG PLAY RECORDERS AND TELEPHONE RECORDERS

Telephone Tape Recorders, Long Play Recorders, Micro Recorders, Desktop Recorders, Recorder Detection Digital Recorders, Body Audio Recorders, Long Play Recorders, Dialed Number Loggers And Decoders, Lie Detection. Working Writing Pen Recorders, Watch Recorders For Men And Ladies! Special Function Recorders!
Combo Combo-Multifunctional Recorders With Digital Cameras And More!

Spy Exchange & Security Center
9513 Burnet Road Suite 101, Austin, Texas 78758
Phone 512-719-3595, Fax 512-719-3594
When In Austin, Texas--Stop By Our Huge Showroom

What's New In Audio Recorders Combo Digital Audio Recorders
High Grade Micro Digital Recorders Econo Digital Audio Recorders
Long Play Automatic Telephone Recorders Analog Long Play Audio Recorders
Working Writing Pen Audio Recorders Law Enforcement Grade Recorders
Watch Audio Recorders/MP3 Players Tape Recorders Accessories

 

What's New Books Equipment Software Links
NAIS Find A PI Certifications Resources Clothing
Badges ID Cards Cop Shop Members Our Staff
PI News PI Daily PI Radio Show Gift Ideas Become A PI

Return To The Spy And PI Vintage Pages

Copyright: 2006, Thomas Investigative Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.
Thomas Investigative Publications, Trademark, 1981.
National Association Of Investigative Specialists, Inc, Trademark, 1986.
Spy Exchange, Trademark, 1999