Volume 12, No. 2
April 2000

Mercurial Matters


Letters to the Editor

2000 in Munich

Pamphlet Series

Videotex, the Internet, and Innovation in France and the United States

Book Review:
Global Communications since 1844

Communication Technologies and the Public Historian

News of the Field:

Off the Record

Global Communication Networks at OAM/NCPH

E-Mail Alert

A Century of Engineering Achievements

First Media Ecology Association Conference


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Off the Record

David Morton's Off the Record: The Technology and Culture of Sound Recording in America, was published in February, 2000, by Rutgers University Press. Morton traces the history of some of the most important innovations in sound recording, such as phonograph, tape recorder, dictation machine, and answering machine, and recounts their use as professional, business, and consumer devices. The case studies in this book are strong arguments for the social construction of technology, but the author also develops a long-overdue assesment of recordings communication. Recording, he argues, is as important in its own way as the printing press or television. Its use fundamentally altered existing modes of transmitting aural information and more subtly influenced the development of other forms of communication from the postal system and the telephone to radio and television.