Telephone Answering Machine

Description (Brief)
The Japanese emphasized electronic technology when rebuilding their manufacturing capability after World War II. The need to replace factories and equipment destroyed during the war gave them the opportunity to take advantage of the latest innovations and enter new markets. The invention of the transistor at Bell Labs in 1947 proved to be a significant opportunity for Japanese electronics companies like Minatronics.
This model TE-155 answering machine does not electrically connect to the telephone, A desk telephone was placed on the deck of the unit and the lever is slipped under the handset. When the phone rang, the lever lifted the hand-set and the recording began. This indirect method of recording was required due to AT&T’s disapproval of telephone answering machines. Since the device did not connect to the company’s lines, the user avoided sanction.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1966
Minatronics Corporation
place made
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
pressboard (overall material)
overall: 20.7 cm x 21.8 cm x 45.5 cm; 8 1/8 in x 8 9/16 in x 17 15/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
model number
Credit Line
from Mrs. Signy E.E. Ellerton-Jones
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Magnetic Recording
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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