Telephone Answering Machine

Description (Brief)
This PhoneMate model 6950 illustrates answering machine technology in the midst of radical change. From the earliest designs in the 1900s, answering machines used magnetic recording technology, recording on either wire or coated tape. Most machines of the 1960s and 1970s used two tapes, one for the outgoing message and one to record the incoming message. Advances in digital memory design during the 1980s led the model 6950's designers to eliminate the outgoing message tape by using digital memory instead. The incoming message was still recorded on a standard tape cassette. The suggested retail price was $179.98.
Currently not on view
Object Name
answering machine
recording device
date made
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 7 cm x 19 cm x 22 cm; 2 3/4 in x 7 1/2 in x 8 11/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
model number
Magnetic Recording
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Magnetic Recording
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
from PhoneMate, thru Shun Yamaura
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.