Dutch inventor of audio cassette dies at age 94

On this picture dated 1988, structural engineer Lou Ottens holding an audio cassette poses for a photograph. The Dutch inventor of the cassette tape, Ottens died Saturday March 6, 2021, on the age of 94, in line with an announcement issued by the Philips firm. (Philips Firm Archives by way of AP)

Lou Ottens, the Dutch inventor of the cassette tape, the medium of selection for hundreds of thousands of bed room combine tapes, has died, mentioned Philips, the corporate the place he additionally helped develop the compact disc.

Ottens died Saturday at age 94, Philips confirmed.

A structural engineer who skilled on the prestigious Technical College in Delft, he joined Philips in 1952 and was head of the Dutch firm’s product growth division when he started work on another for current tape recorders with their cumbersome massive spools of tape.

His purpose was easy. Make tapes and their gamers much more transportable and simpler to make use of.

“In the course of the growth of the cassette tape, within the early Sixties, he had a picket block made that match precisely in his coat pocket,” mentioned Olga Coolen, director of the Philips Museum within the southern metropolis of Eindhoven. “This was how massive the primary Compact Cassette was to be, making it so much handier than the cumbersome tape recorders in use on the time.”

The ultimate product created in 1962 later became a worldwide hit, with greater than 100 billion cassettes offered, many to music followers who would file their very own compilations direct from the radio. Its recognition waned with the event of the compact disc, an invention Ottens additionally helped create as supervisor of a growth group, Philips mentioned.

The cassette tape’s success stemmed from its simplicity, Ottens mentioned in an interview printed by the Philips Museum.

“It was a breakthrough as a result of it was foolproof,” he mentioned, including that gamers and recorders additionally may run on batteries, making them very user-friendly and, in the end, transportable.

“All people may put music of their pocket,” Ottens mentioned.

The prototype picket block by no means made it to the corporate’s museum. Ottens used it to prop up his jack when changing a wheel with a flat tire and left it by the aspect of a highway, Coolen mentioned.

“Lou cherished expertise, when he talked about that his eyes started to twinkle,” museum director Coolen mentioned.


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