Cart Innovator Jack Jenkins Dies

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Towanda, IL - Apr 6, 2009 - John "Jack" Jenkins passed away on April 5, 2009. He was 77. Jenkins is credited as being one of the developers of the original broadcast tape cartridge players in the late 1950s. Jenkins worked with Ted Bailey at WJBC-AM, Bloomington, IL. The two were devising a better method of playing commercials on the air.

Until then, open reel was the standard method of commercial playback. Jenkins and Bailey weren't the only ones trying new ideas. Gates was also working on a player called the 101 Spotter. Unlike the cartridge system that became the standard, the Gates player used a 14"-wide tape band that stored recordings side-by-side. The Gates machine had to be rewound before the next commercial could be played.

A detailed history of the cart machine was printed in the August 1984 issue of Broadcast Engineering magazine. That issue also included a roundup of the modern cart technology of the day and an article on cleaning methods. These sections as well as some advertisements for Broadcast Electronics and ITC cart machines in the issue have been scanned and saved as a PDF. Read those articles online. Note: The PDF is a large (25MB) file.

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