Eeny meeny miny mo…I’ll take that one

How do you pick a winner?

Lucky dip? The Stars? A Hunch? Perhaps a tip from friend who insists it’s a ‘cert’? It’s not easy picking a winner. Any of you who place a few pounds on the Grand National will be able to back me up on that.

What about when the gamble isn’t on sports, but on an object for your leisure? Time and time people are forced to make these decisions and someone always has to lose. Take the Betamax for example. Many people bought these machines in good faith that they were the future. That they would transform the way we watched TV for years to come. These people were almost right…but they were still wrong. It was the VHS which was adopted by the major film studios and distributors and Betamax was left to it’s own little place in history.

Which brings me to the object featured in this blog. The 8-track stereo.

Mike Oldfield, Diana Ross, Joni Mitchell, Rod Stewart, The Temptations and The Eagles

Were you one of the unlucky ones to back the wrong horse. Whilst being more popular in America than in the UK, 8-track stereos (or Stereo8 to give it’s official title) were still available to buy here. Unfotunately so was the cassette tape. Cheaper, rewindable and easier to record on, the cassette was the VHS to the 8-track’s betamax. It’s popularity dwindled until, about ten years after it was released, no new commercial records were released on the 8-track.

A few 8-track tapes have survived within the museum along with a stereo. Big, bulky and with only a small amount of space on them it is a far cry from today’s downloading culture.

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1 Response to “Eeny meeny miny mo…I’ll take that one”


  1. 1 Louise August 3, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    I remember one of the first cars my parents bought when I was a child. They had an 8-track instead of a cassette stereo, thankfully it came with a small stash of music, but how my brother and I fought to change the cassette. I often think about how little you could get on them, but how revolutionary they must have been when released. I should point out that my parents also fell foul of the VHS Vs Betamax war…. perhaps it was a sign!


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Blackburn Museum can be found in Blackburn, Lancashire. It houses objects documenting Blackburn's industrial past as well as a world class collection of Fine Art, Japanese prints, Icons, Numismatics and Manuscripts. Come and visit us to find out more.

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