McGrath of Harlow is wrong when he says home recording was not possible between the demise of the cylinder to the introduction of tape recording. One of my sources of income at the moment is re-capturing the sounds (de-noising, de-hissing, etc) from 78rpm acetates and transfering them to a digital medium. These acetates are usually metal blanks covered in a thin layer of plastic material and were cut direct from source as is tape. Most towns in the 40's and 50's had a radio shop or local enthusiast who provided this service both on 78's then later for 45 or 33.3rpm. The music industry still used this medium for demos, well into the 60's.
The obvious replacement for the cassette for home recording is the mini disc, which is far more versatile than recordable CD, but I think the cassette will be with us for a long while yet though.