We won’t be competing on the British Baking Show, but we at Familyography do have a particular skill at baking— we bake tapes! Yes, tapes. Videotapes, to be precise. Audio reels too. You see, back in the day when videotape was the new tech, various companies experimented with how to manufacture their tapes. And some types of tape became “sticky” over time, because the glue used to adhere the magnetic overlay to the vinyl film would absorb water, and the water would rejuvenate the stickiness of the glue. This caused all sorts of problems. Sometimes the tape would break. More often, the stickiness would put such a stress on the videotape player that the VCR itself would cause it to jam up.
We have found that humidity can make many different kinds of tapes play poorly, for the earliest Umatic tapes to the last of the tape technology -miniDV tapes. So when we run into problems with videotapes, we will literally bake them for a few hours in a dehydrating oven. Then voila! Out of the oven, into the tape player and your memories are safely restored.
We should win some kind of prize for that, shouldn’t we? And if you are shopping around, ask our competitors, “Do you bake tapes?”