Answering Machines of the 1960s

There were a large number of answering machines introduced by European or U.S. companies during the 1960s, and for the most part the companies have disappeared or were absorbed by Asian firms. In 1962, Robosonics Inc. of New York introduced the Robosonic Secretary. While expensive (most models cost over $500), the Robosonic machine was extremely rugged and reliable. The Robosonic Secretary was replaced in 1963 by the Robosonics Record-O-Phone. This machine could be remotely accessed by using a whistle called the Telekey, or later an electronic signal generator, held up to the receiver by the user.


At about $500, the Recordo-O-Phone (sold in the early 1970s) was really only practical for businesses.


Other notable machines of the 1960s included the 1964/5 Code-a-Phone Model 500 tape based answering machine, and the later model 700, which was one of the leased machines distributed through AT&T. The Dictaphone corporation in 1965 introduced the Telecord RCME-7, a combination remote dictation unit and answering machine . European companies at this time were introducing very high quality answering machines, such as the Telefunken Model 101F telephone Answering Machine of 1966.