Dictaphone and Edison Respond

The Dictaphone and Thomas A. Edison companies were not just sitting down while all these competitors entered the market. Dictaphone introduced its new "Dictabelt" systems in 1945, and soon there was also a new Ediphone "Voicewriter"

The introduction of competing products forced the two companies to experiment with new systems intended to enhance the flexiblity of office dictation. A major effort was the push for "centralized" systems, where a multitude of users were connected to a bank of remotely located transcription machines by telephone-like devices. This overcame one of the principle objections to the regular desktop machine; it's bulk. Both Edison and Dictaphone also offered portable models.



One of the early Dictaphone "Time Master" series, using blue (later red) plastic Dictabelts. The recording process was still stylus-in-groove like a phonograph










An early version of the Edison disc-type Voicewriter (the brand had been added to the original "Ediphone" name some years before) that employed a thin vinyl disc.





An electronically amplified version of the Ediphone, capable of recording telephone calls, was introduced in the 1920s, but returned after World War II as the Televoice, a centralized dictation system. Marketing efforts stressed efficiency and an uncluttered desk.


Dictaphone pushed its smaller, battery operated version of the desktop machine, and the two used the same Dictabelt medium. Edison whent another way, offering a tape recorder (manufactured by a third party) that was not compatible with its desktop, disc-based system.

Dictaphone Travel-Master

A third approach was diversification. Dictaphone was most active here, offering special purpose voice recorders such as the extra-long-duration "loggers" that kept records of the radio messages between control towers and pilots at airports.