The Gelosino Castelli tape recorder was also used by NASA, bringing Italian technology to the world and arriving at the invention of the first electrocardiograph
“The invention is such only when it is for everyone”. This is the innovative spirit that accompanied it Arrigo Castelli in all his discoveries and that would have distinguished him even on his day hundredth birthday: November 22, 2021.
And if it is true that every century has its own genius, Castelli’s inventions will remain timeless, because they have revolutionized the use of technology.
It is thanks to him that traces of the conversations of the legendary astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission. In the operations center of the NASA in fact in 1969 the recorder with Castelli License, equipped with a phono-remote control, allowed to record hours and hours of noises and voices from space. Nothing could be lost of that historic moment that kept millions of viewers glued to it. Precisely this device came into action at the moment in which the sound came from space.
To think that as in the best films, his greatest dream came true at a very young age in a basement at an uncle’s house who lived in Como. On a steel wire he managed to engrave a rustle provoked by him. The apotheosis of satisfaction. For the occasion, the best sparkling wine stored in the fridge was uncorked. Recording first on wire and then on tape became his first merit. In Milan he founded the historic factory that took its name from his invention: the Castelli magnetophones.
Since that moment, driven solely and exclusively by passion, he has come a long way. From a collaboration with John Jealous it was made and produced with the Castelli Magnetofoni License jealous, a simple, intuitive recorder, within everyone’s reach, even a child. So much so that the Milan Trade Fair, in economic boom years, everyone aspired to record their own voice and listen to it again. All over the world they came sold over 4 million jealousies, a global success that is still jealously guarded today by those who used it at the time.
With the same voice recording system, patented the first electrocardiograph writing on paper, with which he was awarded the title of Pioneer of Trentino Industry.
Arrigo’s two passions, magnetic tape recording and electrocardiogram recording, have found a successful integration in the long-term recording devices of a ECG (Holter). The 100,000 heartbeats of a patient’s day were recorded on a pseudo tape recorder and re-read by a similar device connected to a screen for their visualization.
Only 5 buttons on the recorder that made history, only a button on the mobile phone that allowed everyone to access global knowledge stored on the internet, two examples of “social technology”, “easy to use” and within everyone’s reach: thanks Arrigo Castelli, thanks Steve Jobs!
Charismatic and brilliant, gentleman and of great goodness of mind, Castelli is remembered by his family and his employees as simple, true, generous, demanding and severe man at the right point. A figure who was able to enhance Italy and who would have liked to be able to pass on his knowledge to the new generations even today. He who has always accompanied his workers in training, who immersed himself in the work group with tireless work and a mind in constant motion.
On the occasion of his hundredth year, the Castelli family will make a series of interactive events and exhibitions in Lombardy and Trentino, where they will come exposed appliances which have made the history of recording and which, supported by modern and cutting-edge technology, have the aim of involve schools and universities to pass on an important knowledge and an innovative spirit that will remain forever timeless.
In the video, the memory of her daughter Serena Castelli and her son-in-law Sergio Consonni. Interviews by Sonia Bedeschi
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