Webcor Model 2110 Tape Recorder (1954)
1954 Webcor 2110 reel recorder

Purchased for $10 from a thrift shop. I needed this one like I needed a third nostril, but this one looked at me like a sad animal at the dog pound. It looked too much like my old, original Webcor; it was cheap; and other than missing a knob, it was complete—it even had the microphone, which is often missing on these machines. Worse comes to worst, I could use it as a parts donor.

Hell, it's worth $10 just for the magic eye.

I was convinced when I picked it up that I'd have to pull it apart and recap it at the very least, but so far, nothing seems amiss. Every Webcor I've had has been so quiet you can't tell that they're running, and this was the same way. I didn't know it was working until I engaged the motor and it turned (in dimmer light I would have noticed the pilot light under the W/C logo in the front).

Webcor 2110 adA tape (in the photo) came with the machine so I tried it and it played. Tried recording—the magic eye is bright and working, but couldn't record. Not sure if the mic is bad or something else; sometime I'll try some other mics on it and see, but since I'll likely never record anything with it (all I want is playback), I'm not terribly motivated to check it out.

Cosmetically it's also in good condition. It's got some scrapes and scratches, but the fabric is intact and not really fraying, which you can't say about a lot of machines from this era. The face plate and controls, like most Webcors I've seen, are almost pristine. Other than a missing knob (which I had from a scrapped-out machine), it's complete and in nice shape.

Seriously, how can you not love these things?

I often wonder what the reaction would have been at the Webcor factory if you'd told them that someone would be using this machine in the 21st century.