Geek Trivia

8-Track Music Players Were Originally Invented For Use In What?

Which Of These Children's Toys Has Been Co-opted For Use By The U.S. Military?

Answer: Jets

Bill Lear, founder of the Lear Jet Corporation, was continually focused on refining and improving the experience of passengers in his jets. Starting in the 1940s he began researching alternatives to the record player in order to provide jet passengers with smooth and skip-free music during their flights. Lear’s efforts were largely unsuccessful until one of his designers, Richard Kraus, built the first 8-track player (a design which was heavily informed by the work of George Eash and his smaller and lesser known 4-track cartridges).

In 1964 the Lear Corporation constructed and distributed 100 demonstration models to recording and automotive executives in a bid to drum up interest and support for the new format. Lear’s efforts to introduce a new format were successful and by the 1970s 8-track players were in use in his jets as well as cars and homes across America.