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(#814) George H, Dr. Bob and Anne, Bill W (Detroit, MI)
1947 in Akron and NY  EVENT: Wire Recording Report  TYPE: AA and Al-Anon, Both, Historical

Amazing historical recording. George traveled the country for business. He used a wire recorder as a Dictaphone for his work. He gave Bill a unit and probably Dr. Bob so George could send reports of the state of AA in the areas George traveled.

On the recording is the only audio I know of Anne Smith (Dr. Bob's wife). Both she and Dr. Bob are convalescing at home from surgery and send a brief message to Bill and Lois. Dr. Bob's son known as Smitty and his wife are also recorded.

Later, George presents his report about the state of AA in California after Bill's recent trip. They speak of smoothing ruffled feathers over some recordings a sober priest (I assume Father John Plau a.k.a "Father John Doe") was selling out west. These were on recovery topics but had a preacher style quality. Western AA's were hinting that if that was AA back east, they didn't want any part of it. Bill's trip seems to have smoothed things out.

I have added on the end a separate recording that appears to be Bill's response to Bob and Anne's message and includes Bill playing the violin.

Wire recorders had their heyday in the years 1946 to 1954 and used a spool of wire to record audio via magnetic charges. It was the precursor of magnetic tape used in cassette based dictaphones starting in 1948. Tape supplanted wire for recorders around 1954.

Bill's long time secretary and the first archivist of AA, Nell Wing, reported that a box filled with these spool recording was mistakenly thrown out when the archives was moved. Someone thought they were spools of thread. We can only wonder what they might have contained.


(37 min) (12.7 MB) (id#814)