Tape seals?

Shoppa, Tim tshoppa at wmata.com
Sat May 18 09:33:50 CDT 2019

Just a reminder: "Tape seal" is a generic name (or defunct trademark?) for the wrap-around plastic tape hanger for half-inch magtape reels. There's a flexible white (soft plastic) or beige (hard plastic) belt with a clamp (sometimes black) and a hanger. They usually had a little place to put a label in them too. They usually came with a new reel of tape but you could also buy them by themselves.

20 years ago I had thousands of 9-tracks hanging from decaying tape seals. Every couple days I would find a couple of tapes dropped to the floor and their tape seal broken. At the time it was no problem to find surplus tapes with recent tape seals to rehang them, and tape seals were still available new. Most of mine came from Southern California where I think the ozone in the atmosphere severely limited useful life of the plastics.

Here in 2019 I only have a few dozen tapes and few remaining tape seals. I suspect any source I found of tape seals would be selling 20-year old tape seals.

Is there any outfit that sells "new tape seals"? Or a preferred better way to hang tapes in 2019? It wouldn't surprise me if an archivist told me hanging tapes was the wrong way to store them but I never have really noticed (temperature/humidity changes seem to be a way bigger problem than storage orientation).

P.S. Yes all these tapes were imaged decades ago. Not really sure why I still have them around unless say I need to boot a PDP-11 or VAX OS from 9-track which I guess hasn't happened in at least a decade for me.

Tim N3QE

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