EMI - United Kingdom

Company description

1931 The Gramophone Company and The Columbia Graphophone Company merged into Electric and Musical Industries (EMI)

1940’s EMI made the reel-to-reel tape recorders known as British Tape Recorders or BTR machines were initially made by EMI in England after World War II. These first magnetic tape recorders to be manufactured in Britain imitated the design of tape recorders used by the Germans during the war.

1947 The first R-R model made by EMI was the BTR1

1949 The first prerecorded reel-to-reel tapes were introduced in the USA

1952 EMI made the improved BTR2 model that boasted better fidelity, that was used not only at EMI studios but at the BBC. EMI started selling pre-recorded tapes in Great Britain. The tapes were twin-track mono (2 tracks) and were duplicated in real time on modified EMI BTR2 recorders.

1955 EMI released 2-track “stereosonic” tapes. These EMI tapes were much more expensive than a vinyl LP record and sales were poor. EMI released over 300 “stereosonic” titles

1960’s EMI built only a few BTR3 recorders, initially intended to support 2 or 4 tracks, but only 2 track machines were produced. EMI moved from making recording equipment to selling recordings

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Company Profile

1931 To Present
1947 To 1964