BASF Tape Letter (early 1960s – early 1970s)

The BASF Tape Letter was a small reel of ¼-inch magnetic recording tape that could be recorded and played back on a standard open reel tape recorder. Once recorded, the reel would be placed back in its packaging which had space on it to write an address and to attach postage stamps to send it to someone.

At least two sizes were available; a smaller 6cm reel offering 7.5 minutes of recording time, and a larger 8cm reel. There may have been two further sizes, 9 and 10cm.

Similar reels marketed for keeping in touch by posting voice recordings were available around the same time, such as the EMI Voice Letter and the Scotch One Five Special. The Smith Corona Mail Call Letterpack of the late 1960s was a similar concept. Postage overseas was much cheaper than making an international telephone call at the time.

The BASF Tape Letter does not seem to have become very popular, and would probably have been superseded by formats like the Compact Cassette that offered smaller and more convenient tape recorders.

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