In the world we live in today it is really quite difficult to imagine how a large amount of society would function without the use of mobile technology. Of course before this kind of communication rocketed in its popularity many used to rely on their traditional telephones. As hard as it is to picture a modern day world without phones it is perhaps similarly difficult to think of one without answering machines.

It is equally possible for you to think of an answering machine as something that has been around for a huge amount of time as it is for you to think of it as a more modern device. Perhaps the reason why many may think of it in one of, if not both of these ways, is that it has indeed been around for a long length of time but it has also gone through a degree of advancements to become the device that you see so often in today’s world.


 Answer Phones

The beginning

It was as long ago as 1898 when the Danish engineer Valdemar Poulsen invented the answering machine. At this time it was known under the term of a telegraphone and it functioned as the first machine for recording phone call conversations.  It was not until 1935 that the first device to work as an automatically functioning answering machine came into play, created by Willy Muller if you believe most sources.


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Answer phones reached the market in 1960 when they began being sold in America. The answering machine at that time was initially known by the term ‘Ansafone’ and was developed by the inventor Kazuo Hashimoto who had introduced his first answering machine in Japan six years previous to the US release.


Commercial use

Initially, answering machines were used for the purpose of business but this eventually expanded to use in homes of course. The machines were now making use of a solid-state disk whereas the first answer phones had worked by using magnetic tape. In 1971 came the first commercial device via the company PhoneMate and the machine was capable of storing 20 messages and screening calls. A reel-to-reel tape was used in this answer phone and in 1983 Kazuo Hashimoto was responsible for the first example of a digital telephone answering facility. Hashimoto had the distinction of registering upwards of a thousand patents in his lifetime before his death in 1995.