The Newell tape transport was an invention by Chester W. Newell. As described by Merv Falk, Newell in 1963, "...had the idea of greatly simplifying tape transport geometry and of gaining very high performance. Supply and take-up reels no longer needed separate motors and very high-performance servo drives so that the span of tape connecting them would not be over-stressed. Rotational energy to the two tape packs could be added or subtracted very rapidly since the peripheries were traveling at the same linear velocities."
A website devoted to Chester W. Newell--including this interview with Mr. Falk--may be found at:
LabGuy's World: Chester Newell, Tape Recording Genius