Talking books

= Audio Available Online
Dale Carter Cooper talks about her work as a Talking Book narrator at the American Printing House for the Blind, where she started recording in 1952. She describes the variety of books that she read and some of the challenges. She talks about the relocation of the studios to the basement after the new adminsitration building addition opened in 1955. Also mentioned are other APH studio staff including narrators, monitors, and directors.
Waunda Cox talks about her work as a tactile graphics tooler, braille transcriber and copyholder at the American Printing House for the Blind. She discusses new technology used in braille and tactile graphics production, including the use of computers and the PEARL (Plate Embossing Apparatus for Raised Lines), and use of the carousel table in colating. She also describes breaktime in the APH cafeteria, and the 1988 Teamsters Union strike.
Ron Gadson, APH Maintenance Division Manager, talks about working at the American Printing House for the Blind, where he began as a machinist in the Machine Shop in 1965. He describes machinery that maintenance employees have worked on over the years. He specifically mentions the Banbury mill used in making vinyl biscuits for talking books, the stitching machine used in the Bindery, and the making of cabinet-model stereograph machines. He talks about modifications of equipment for producing accessible materials and about the development of a prototype tape machine by APH employee Macombus Lee for using computerized braille transcription (circa 1960). The introduction of OSHA standards for machine safety and the effect of the Teamsters Union at APH and the reasons leading up to unionization in 1981 are also mentioned.
Betty Hardin, retired APH Tape Duplication Supervisor, talks about her work at the American Printing House for the Blind. She describes manufacturing processes for Talking Book production from 1967, when she started working at APH, until 2004, the year of her retirement. She describes hard record pressing, tape duplication of both open-reel and cassette tapes (2-track and 4-track), mastering, and cassette labeling. She also mentions the APH softball team and bowling league of the 1970s and briefly discusses the Teamsters Union.
Anne Harlan talks about working in the Talking Book Studio at the American Printing House for the Blind, where she has been working as a monitor since 1978. She describes the teamwork that goes on between monitors, narrators, and proofreaders. She also talks about equipment used before and after digital recording was introduced at APH and about some of the narrators and APH employees she has worked with in the Studio.
Beverly Hassan talks about working in various departments at the American Printing House for the Blind. She describes using hard record presses for Talking Book production when she began at APH in 1954 and other jobs that she held in the company until her retirement in 2000 -- including stereograph operator and braille transcriber, working with mailings for fundraising campaigns in Magazine Circulation, filming accounting files in Micrographics, conducting tours of the factory, and being the switchboard operator.
Albert Jarboe, retired APH employee, talks about his work experiences at the American Printing House for the Blind. Hired in 1958, Jarboe worked primarily in Talking Book production, where he set up and ran record presses. Mention is made of a Banbury mixer. He also set up other machinery for Maintenance and worked in the company's Machine Shop. In 1981, APH negotiated its first Teamsters Union contract. Jarboe talks briefly about the effect of the union at the company.
Carole Jones talks about her work as a braille proofreader at the American Printing House for the Blind. She was hired at APH in 1977 and retired in 1993. She proofread materials in Nemeth Code, as well as other braille materials. She describes teamwork with copyholders; using a VersaBraille in proofreading; the advent of computers in APH braille production; breaktimes and the APH cafeteria, which was managed by Sam and Adam Begley; the effect of the Teamsters Union at APH, and participation in the union strike in January 1988.
Milton Metz talks about his experiences as a narrator for the American Printing House for the Blind, where he began reading Talking Books in 1946. He describes early wax recordings and the teamwork between narrator and the monitor. He also recalls other APH narrators and Katharine Graham's visit to APH for the 30th anniversary of Newsweek Talking Magazine.
Bob Phelps talks about his work at the American Printing House for the Blind, from 1963 until his retirement as manager of Technical Research in 2002. He describes electronic projects that he worked on, including installing and maintaining equipment in the studios for Talking Book production, working on record presses, designing equipment devices for indexing and variable speed playing of talking books, and producing Educational Research products, specifically APH PocketBraille, Handi-Cassette, and Speech Expressor. He also describes maintenance responsibilities from when he worked as division manager for building maintenance.