Science Museum in London Donates Object to Museum of Portable Sound

The Philips N2234 tape recorder is handed over in the reception area of Blythe House Archive, London, 6 April 2022. Museum of Portable Sound Archives photograph by Lara Torres.

BLYTHE HOUSE ARCHIVE, LONDON – A vintage 1982 Philips portable tape recorder once held in the Science Museum’s archives has been officially transferred to the collections of the Museum of Portable Sound.

The Philips N2234 portable tape recorder – notable for such features as a two-head Compact Cassette deck, four transistors, four semiconductors, analog numerical tape counter, as well as analog rotating volume and tone knobs – can be powered by mains or with six C-sized 1.5v batteries. The 2.2kg, 70mm x 180mm x 270mm-sized N2234 was discontinued only one year after it was first released.

Science Museum Assistant Registrar Marilena Alonzi, who initiated the object transfer, stated that the Museum of Portable Sound was “number one on our list” of potential institutions to take up care of the marginally valuable object once it was deemed available for transfer.

The N2234 was officially handed over to Museum of Portable Sound Director and Chief Curator Dr John Kannenberg during a private ceremony at Blythe House Archive in London on 6 April 2022. The exclusive event was attended by Museum of Portable Sound part-time staff photographer, conservator, and trustee Lara Torres plus some random guy who happened to be sitting in the waiting room area at the time.

“The Museum of Portable Sound is honoured to assume care-taking responsibilities for this beautiful artefact of early 1980s cassette culture,” Director Kannenberg typed in this press release.

The N2234 will become part of the Museum of Portable Sound Physical Objects Collection, a growing archive of sound-related tangible objects in support of the Museum of Portable Sound’s Permanent Collection of Sounds.

The Museum of Portable Sound (MOPS), opened in London in 2015, is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of sounds as objects of culture. Through its public programmes, educational offerings, and publications, MOPS brings the culture and history of sound beyond music to the world, one listener at a time.

Further Information

Contact the Museum of Portable Sound Press Office
John Kannenberg

Published by Dr John Kannenberg

John Kannenberg is an artistic researcher whose work investigates sounds as museological objects. Via an acoustemological approach, he considers the histories and cultures surrounding sounds, the technologies that generate or record them, and the auditors who hear or listen to them. He holds a PhD in sound & museums from the University of the Arts London, as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art degree and Graduate Certification in Museum Studies from the University of Michigan. He is Director and Chief Curator of The Museum of Portable Sound. Learn more about his work at

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