Oberlin Smith

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Oberlin Smith

Oberlin Smith (March 22, 1840 - July 19, 1926) was an American engineer who published one of the earliest works dealing with magnetic recording in 1888.

Biography[edit]

He was born on March 22, 1840 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

He started a small machine shop in Bridgeton, New Jersey, where he lived most of his life, which became known as the Ferracute Machine Company in 1877.[1] For the entire existence of the company he was the president and chief engineer.

He died on July 19, 1926 in New Jersey.

Magnetic recording[edit]

In an article that appeared in the British magazine - Electrical World, he suggested (probably for the first time) the use of permanent magnetic impressions for the recording of sound. Smith had fabricated a cotton or silk thread, into which steel dust or short clippings of fine wire would be suspended. These particles were to be magnetized in accordance with the alternating current from a microphone source. Smith also discussed the possibility of using a hard steel wire, but thought it scarcely possible. A working unit was never built. Many of Smith's ideas were used by Valdemar Poulsen when he developed the first true magnetic recorder.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oberlin Smith: Biography, IEEE Global History Network. Accessed November 2, 2010.

External links[edit]