Dutch inventor of audio cassette dies at age 94

THE HAGUE – Lou Ottens, the Dutch inventor of the cassette tape, the medium of preference for millions of bed room blend tapes, has died, said Philips, the organization exactly where he also assisted build the compact disc.

Ottens died Saturday at age 94, Philips verified.

A structural engineer who experienced at the prestigious Technical University in Delft, he joined Philips in 1952 and was head of the Dutch firm’s solution improvement office when he started operate on an substitute for present tape recorders with their cumbersome big spools of tape.

His target was uncomplicated. Make tapes and their players significantly a lot more portable and simpler to use.

“During the progress of the cassette tape, in the early 1960s, he experienced a wood block built that healthy particularly in his coat pocket,” said Olga Coolen, director of the Philips Museum in the southern town of Eindhoven. “This was how significant the very first Compact Cassette was to be, building it a ton handier than the bulky tape recorders in use at the time.”


The ultimate solution produced in 1962 later on turned into a throughout the world hit, with extra than 100 billion cassettes bought, a lot of to new music followers who would history their own compilations direct from the radio. Its attractiveness waned with the progress of the compact disc, an invention Ottens also served make as supervisor of a progress team, Philips said.

The cassette tape’s achievements stemmed from its simplicity, Ottens claimed in an interview printed by the Philips Museum.

“It was a breakthrough since it was foolproof,” he said, introducing that players and recorders also could run on batteries, producing them very consumer-helpful and, ultimately, transportable.

“Everybody could put songs in their pocket,” Ottens claimed.

The prototype picket block hardly ever made it to the firm’s museum. Ottens used it to prop up his jack when replacing a wheel with a flat tire and left it by the facet of a road, Coolen explained.

“Lou cherished technological innovation, when he talked about that his eyes commenced to twinkle,” museum director Coolen said.

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