Poulsen, a Danish telephone engineer and inventor, patented a
Telegraphone, in 1898. It was the first practical apparatus for magnetic sound
recording and reproduction. It was an ingenious apparatus for recording
telephone conversations. It recorded, on a wire, the varying magnetic fields
produced by a sound. The magnetized wire could then be used to play back the
In 1935, Willy Müller invented the world's first automatic answering machine in
1935. The first answering machine was a three-foot-tall machine popular with
Orthodox Jews who were forbidden to answer the phone on the Sabbath. The
Ansafone, created by inventor Dr. Kazuo Hashimoto (Phonetel), was the first
answering machine sold in the USA, beginning in 1960.
In 1971, PhoneMate introduced one of the first commercially viable answering
machines, the Model 400. The unit weighs 10 pounds, screens calls and holds 20
messages on a reel-to-reel tape. An earphone enabled private message retrieval.
The first digital tad was invented by Dr. Kazuo Hashimoto of Japan in mid-1983.
US patent 4,616,110 entitled Automatic Digital Telephone Answering.