1948 Crescent Line Recorder?

December 5, 2020

A 1948 Crescent Line Recorder on a blanket.This is a 1948 Crescent wire recorder with playback. I've only located one like it in the British Museum of Sound. I am trying to get a value on it, maybe where I should sell it?


It was made by Crescent Industries, Chicago, USA, in the late 1940s. This is a record player combined with a magnetic recorder using wire. The record turntable doubles as a takeup spool for the wire. It was possible to record from an external microphone or from a record. Playback was via the generously sized speaker at the front of the case. This particular machine in the collection was originally purchased from a department store in Dublin, Ireland. Wire was a very unsatisfactory recording medium as it could not be edited and tangled easily. By the early 1950s, magnetic recording had moved to plastic tape, hence this type of domestic-market wire recorder is a rarity. Dimensions: Width: 360 mm Height: 460 mm Depth: 650 mm


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December 6, 20200 found this helpful
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I would contact the British Museum of Sound and see if they can tell you if they or another museum wants one and perhaps they could buy it from you or you could donate and if there is a tax write off you could get, should you go that route.


There is a photo fact sheet for sale on eBay for a recorder like this. I don't have two screens so I can't do a side by side to determine if they are identical, but maybe it would help you in trying to place the piece if you had the sheet:

If you did want to sell it online, I can offer tips for selling on eBay; however, if you are not an experienced eBay seller, starting out with something unusual and rare is not the best way to start because many buyers will not buy from inexperienced sellers.

Where are you located? Maybe there are brick and mortar stores in your area where you could have it sold on consignment or in a real auction.

Happy to offer tips when I learn more about your situation. Thanks!

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December 6, 20200 found this helpful
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I have found another site that is called the Museum of magnet sound recording. They have a very large selection of magnet sound recording devices there. The person has listed a lot of history about these devices on the website. There is a contact page where you can send them a message to ask questions concerning the value of your recorder.


The ones that they have and that are listed on his page are not for sale. This person seems to be very knowledgeable about these items and he might help you with your value and pricing it or he might be interested in buying it from you.

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December 12, 20200 found this helpful
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If you could get into Chicago, you may do well with it trying one of their shops that specializes in this kind of item.

I haven't talked to my friend who lives there about this in ages, but there used to (Before Covid) some really great antique malls in and around the city that would pay cash on the spot for cool and unusual items. There were others that did consignments also and paid out nicely.


That would be the best bet as your piece would not ship well and the buyer would want to be able to see and test it out.

Looking forward to helping you with your other items!! I love cool and unique items for resale!!

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December 6, 20200 found this helpful

Very interesting piece of history.
Sorry but this is just too far out of my humble expertise to offer advise about value or even where to post for sale as I feel sure this needs to be placed for sale in an auction or site that specializes in this type of equipment.
There is a lot of information online as I'm sure you already know but I'm going to list some sites for anyone interesting in obtaining information about this item:


Most of the sites will have contact information near the bottom but not sure which site could offer suggestions for you.

Have you contacted the British Museum?

You can always place it on Reddit and ask your question about value.

Good luck and please let us know what you find out - this is fascinating history.

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December 10, 20200 found this helpful

I live in Baroda Michigan. Small town in Southwest Michigan. I know there are some antique shops around New Buffalo. Mostly Chicago vacation homes there.


I've got some other pretty cool things also that I'm gonna be posting too.

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