John Herbert Orr
(August 19, 1911 – May 6, 1984) was an Alabama entrepreneur
who formed Orradio Industries
, Inc., a high-technology firm that made magnetic recording tape. In 1945, Orr was among the U.S. Army Intelligence officials who investigated this technology, which was originally developed in Germany
during the 1930s. Orr's early knowledge allowed him to establish Orradio in 1949. When, after some uncertainty, tape
became the standard medium for magnetic recorders
, and as other uses such as data storage and videotape appeared, Orradio's sales expanded rapidly in the late 1950s. Orradio produced the first commercially available audio tape, video tape, and computer tape in the world. The company was purchased by a larger competitor, the Ampex Corporation
, in 1959 when Ampex decided it was cheaper to own the plant than to keep buying all their tape.
Mr. Orr then founded OrrTronics, which developed the lubricated tape used in closed loop tape systems. The system, called the "Orrtronic Tapette", was produced in versions for home, commercial, and automotive use, and was offered as a prize on television game shows. Evolving from a single track mono design (which stayed in production as the radio station "cart") through two-track mono and stereo versions, the rights were sold to Bill Lear, who continued development into the well known 4-track and 8-track cartridges of the late sixties.
Orrtronic was then closed and Mr. Orr formed Orrox Corporation, which... Read More