Answering Machine Invented by Dane Valdemar Poulsen in 1904
The answering machine, answerphone or message machine, also known as the telephone answering machine is a device for recording callers’ messages. The tape records and replays sound using a technique originally invented in 1898 by Valdemar Poulsen which was the first practical device used for recording telephone conversations. Poulsen’s device, known as a telegraphone or ‘wire recorder’.
Dane Valdemar Poulsen (1869-1942) shaped a surprising amount of the modern world with the invention of magnetically record sound in 1898. It was an incredibly useful innovation that has been used in tape recordings, hard disks, floppy disks and credit cards. It also led him to create in 1904, the world’s first “telephone answering device.”
Modern society relies on communication tools such as the telephone to function and today it is very unusual to encounter a telephone that does not have some form of answering phone or voicemail. After its invention in 1876, the telephone become a world-changing tool, allowing anyone in the world to have a conversation with anyone else, immediately. It was only a matter of time before somebody had the idea for an answering machine.
Poulsen’s magnetic wire recording device was initially used in the answering machine but later versions used magnetic tape to record the telephone message. Today, equipment tends to use solid-state memory storage. The first digital answer-phone was invented in the United States by Kazuo Hashimoto in 1983.
Telephones are of course intrinsically rude devices that pay no respect to normal methods of adult communication and they interrupt whatever activity is going on. The answering machine-along with its related modern counterparts of voicemail, call registers and text message-gives people some relief from impolite badgering by allowing them to know who has been trying to talk to them and deciding whether they want to talk back.