I reckon this is the fellow we can blame. The world's first answering machine, now known as voice mail, but back then known as Televoice. The date? 1933. I am going to guess the first "early adopters" were stockbrokers who after laying off their secretary, were thrilled to be able to screen calls, even if the unit took up their entire office. Note the tiny little wheels. I am sure Mr. Keiser was hoping to claim it was portable. Oh...if only I had HIS number. On the reverse "When the phone rings, the machine lifts the receiver, a record advises "Mr-----is not in, but requests that you leave your message, which will be automatically recorded" Great, eh? Can you imagine Keiser lugging the thing around and setting it up in the offices of potential investors? "I'll get it set up in just a minute...It worked just the other day fine!"
Original press photo 1933 Collection Jim Linderman