Does anyone know what kind of device this is? I found it in my late dad's stuff, probably from the 1970s. It has no number, type, model, serial number or anything else on it that could be used for identification, besides the IBM logo.

Picture #1

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Picture #2

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  • 1
    Lovely pictures. Looks like something out of Star Trek episode - TOS of course. It's funny how much industrial design has changed over the years. Back then this was certainly considered by the designers - and customers too - as the epitome of cool tech.
    – davidbak
    Nov 16, 2020 at 19:23
  • From the pictures I would never make up that it is so tiny. From the Youtube video (link in the answer below) it appears to be about the size of a hand. I never imagined IBM made devices smaller than the siz of a typewriter. Nov 17, 2020 at 9:38

1 Answer 1


Classic IBM 224 Dictating Unit using a magnabelt, often called a Dictaphone, although that wasa trademark of a different company. Introduced in 1966 and sold in high volume and worldwide, way into the 1970s.

Seen here in action.

So while being from IBM, it's in no way computer related. They are still a common find. Only complete setups, including the microphone and all other accessories, in the original carrying case are a bit more rare.

  • 6
    re it's in no way computer related. Well, the company is International Business Machines :-)
    – dave
    Nov 15, 2020 at 16:56
  • 2
    For years before IBM went into the computer business, The IBM logo was associated with the punchclock where employees stamped the time-in/time-out on their time cards. Nov 15, 2020 at 17:39
  • 4
    The IBM selectric typewriter was another business machine that was not a computer. Nov 15, 2020 at 17:40
  • 7
    @Raffzahn - but if you don't know it's not computer-related, you may have to ask here to find out it isn't. So, I think fair question, and you've appropriately answered it.
    – dave
    Nov 15, 2020 at 18:28
  • 5
    @another-dave you might have noticed that I did not vote to close it - but simply mentioned that it's not computer related, which I think is a valuable information here.
    – Raffzahn
    Nov 15, 2020 at 18:30

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