1940s BBC Marconi Lip Microphone and Equalizer

This original BBC Marconi Type L (Lip) microphone dates to the 1940s or 50s. It comes with its Equalizer (serial #74). Both are in very original untouched and complete condition but are untested and sold as is.

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When this iconic ribbon Lip microphone was invented in 1937 by the BBC and Marconi it was a fantastic solution to a common problem.  Intended for use at large outdoor events, the design incorporated a metal lip guard that ensured the speaker’s mouth and hence voice remained a steady 2.25 inches from the internal mic. This helped minimize other external ambient noises. Indeed the design was so successful that modern versions are still in use by many sporting commentators today. I’ve included a photo from the 1932 BBC album (that I also have for sale) that shows a poor sports commentator wearing an amazing mic headset- you can instantly see why the new Lip microphone proved popular instead!

Though several companies have produced this mic over the years, this is one of the early original versions that dates to the 1940s or 50s and is genuine ex BBC stock. An identical example here can be viewed in the permanent collection of the Science Museum.

This example includes its original Equalizer (a vital accessory at the time) and the handle retains an old 1950s rubber grip that has seen better days but has been left on for originality. There is some losses to the corner rubber on the lip guard and naturally signs of use on both items.


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