Consumer wire recorders were marketed for home entertainment or as an inexpensive substitute for commercial office dictation recorders, but the development of consumer magnetic tape recorders starting in 1946, with the BK 401 Soundmirror,using paper-based tape, quickly drove wire recorders from the market.
In 1932, after six years of developmental work, Merle Duston, a radio engineer, created a tape recorder that used a low-cost chemically treated paper tape, capable of recording both sounds and voice. During the recording process, the tape moved through a pair of electrodes which immediately imprinted the modulated sound signals as visible black stripes into the paper tape's surface. The could be immediately replayed from the same recorder unit, which also contained photoelectric sensors, somewhat similar to the various technologies of the era.
Right before show time, a young man approached, taking the empty seat next to Sally Jo. They began quietly chatting, but I couldn’t hear their conversation, because the excited crowd was understandably noisy, in anticipation of the start of the show. However, I did catch the dude placing his finger to his lips and making the “Shhhh” sound to Sally Jo. He laughed and pointed at the tape recorder under his chair. Well, Sally Jo looked right back at him, made the “Shhhh” sound, and pointed down to our tape recorder. The three of us had a good laugh!