Today, Barry is a quiet seaside resort town with a population of about 40, 000, located 8 miles southwest of Cardiff. A century ago, this town prospered as the world's largest coal export port; however, it is difficult to see any traces of this past prosperity in the vacant Barry dock today. The aim of this paper is to consider the development of Barry Dock and Railway Company (BDR), the main source of the prosperity of the town of Barry before the First World War. As the name properly indicates, one of the outstanding features of this company was that it integrated a large wet-dock and a railway leading from the dock up to Rhondda Valley, the world's largest coal mining region at that time. The principal impetus of the establishment of BDR was the reaction of the valley's coal owners to the monopolistic and inefficient Bute and Penarth Docks and Taff Vale Railway companies. Due to the increasing rapid development of the coal industry, the dock and railway companies were unable to cope with the demands of the freighters. At the same time, capital accumulation among the coal owners made it possible to construct large alternative facilities at Barry. No sooner was BDR established on 18th July 1889 than it had an immediate impact upon the existing docks and railways. Of all of them, it was the Penarth Dock that was most seriously affected. The amount of coal exported from Penarth was halved in 1890. The profitability of the Taff Vale Railway also declined; its dividends dropped from 15% in 1888 to 2.25% in 1891. Notwithstanding these disastrous impacts, coal exports in the region as a whole increased considerably due to the widening dock capacity and the reduction of railway freight rates. The performance of all rival companies improved in the long run. Although miners' strikes interrupted coal production intermittently, coal exports from Barry dock increased significantly, and BDR was able to maintain high rates of dividends until the end of the First World War. One potential problem in trade composition was the overdependence on coal export trade. It is true that the rate of imports also increased simultaneously with the population increase of the town; however, it never exceeded 7% of total trade. But the effect of this dangerous overdependence on coal trade did not appear until after the end of the First World War.
The first purpose of this paper is to analyze the historical factors of the Japanese magnetic recorder (tape recorder and video tape recorder [=VTR]) industry, which developed in the 1950s, and identify the characteristics of the industry. The second purpose is to examine the point at issue, that “the development of the tape recorder industry contributed to the VTR industry.” I first pay attention to the beginning of the development of magnetic recorders in Japan and next analyze the activities of Japanese companies (i.e, Sony, Matsushita, JVC, and Toshiba) from this time. The television industry, the most famous in the Japanese electronic industry, has a pattern of growth of catching up with and surpassing Western countries, but the magnetic recorder industry is different. This industry expanded to meet the demands of Japanese broadcasters who required tape recorders to record their programs. Sony was the only company that first took up the challenge to develop tape recorders. There was no objection from other companies because there was only a small consumer market and only a professional market for tape recorders in the world in the 1950s. As for VTRs, Japanese companies were the only ones to develop helical scan (a technique later adopted by Beta and VHS) VTRs in the world. This means that there were not only products for them to market like tape recorders, but also to develop. These are the characteristics of the Japanese magnetic recorder industry that differ from the television industry. This paper analyzes the point at issue that “the development of the tape recorder industry contributed to the VTR industry” from the viewpoint of technology, staff, and experience in the development of products. It was found that the contribution of the tape recorder industry was of little consequence because of the time lag between the common use of the tape re-corder and VTRs. But in actuality, Japanese companies developed magnetic recorders at almost the same time. Therefore, it is difficult to generalize the point at issue.