Telephone Answering Machine

Description (Brief)
Ansafone Corporation first sold telephone answering machines in the United Stated in 1960. Developed by Japanese immigrant Yujiro Yamamoto, the Ansafone used a single tape cartridge system for incoming messages. Another tape looped through the machine and played the outgoing message. The user placed an ordinary desk phone on top of the Ansafone. Two arms slid under the handset. An incoming call would cause the arms to lift the handset and play the outgoing message. Once the incoming message was recorded, the Ansafone replaced the handset in the cradle, hanging up the phone.
Currently not on view
Object Name
telephone answering machine
recording device
answering machine
date made
ca 1968
Ansafone Corporation
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 22.8 cm x 20.3 cm x 35.5 cm; 9 in x 8 in x 14 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Magnetic Recording
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
from PhoneTel Communications Inc., thru Daniel Henderson
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.