I recently obtained this little gem for my collection. I had seen it for sale for some time and finally gave in and bought it at a good price. It is one of those items you're not quite sure about until it arrives and you see what a cool piece it actually is! It fits right in with what I like to collect: vintage items connected to astronauts and/or the manned space program which have obvious signs of daily use.
This Sony 'Cassette-Corder' was used by Apollo 7 Astronaut Walt Cunningham in the 70's to record the original draft of his book 'The All American Boys'. If the below picture of the COA signed by Cunningham wasn't enough confirmation of it's vintage status, all doubt was removed when I opened up the battery compartment!! What a mess!! I believe it still had the original batteries in it and they had not aged well, leaking their contents all over the inside of the compartment. Cunningham should really think about changing his batteries more than once every 40 years!!!
Once I got the old batteries out, I put some new batteries in but the darned thing would not work. I had to take some sand paper and rub away the corrosion on the battery terminals, replace the batteries, and then the old 'Cassette-Corder' fired right up!! Very cool. Played with it for a couple of days, recording nonsense etc. with my grand-kids, and retired it for the time being. This time the batteries were not left in!!
It is pretty cool to think that Cunningham used this item for a couple of years back in the 70's to record his thoughts which were the basis for his excellent book.
When I bought this item, I also received a Cunningham autographed softcover copy of his book!! Very cool!!
(MY CASSETTE TAPE IS IN)
TAPE COMPARTMENT OPEN
(A VERY NICE SURPRISE: CUNNINGHAM HAD AUTOGRAPHED THE INSIDE OF THE COMPARTMENT COVER)
ORIGINAL INSTRUCTION MANUAL CAME WITH THE ITEM
'THE ALL AMERICAN BOYS'
TITLE PAGE SIGNED BY CUNNINGHAM