In 1936 the magnetophon, an improved version of Valdemar Poulsen’s magnetic recording invention, was introduced in Germany by the AEG and I. G. Farben companies. The magnetophon incorporated many new features, an important one being the use of a plastic-base tape. This was much lighter than the earlier solid metal bands, and made the machine smaller and less expensive. German radio stations used the magnetophon regularly in the late 1930s. It became a powerful propaganda weapon in the hands of the Nazi party, since it could easily be used to record and broadcast the Fuhrer’s long speeches. German engineers continued to improve the magnetophon until its sound quality exceeded that of the highest quality phonograph recorders, a fact that did not escape the attention of Allied engineers. When the first studio magnetophons were captured in 1945, they were transported back to France, Great Britain, and the United States to be copied.