Voice-O-Graph (1940s – 1960s)

The Voice-O-Graph was a recording system about the size of a telephone box that allowed people to record their voices directly onto a phonograph disc.

It was first introduced in the 1940s by International Mutoscope, and was once a staple of fairgrounds, arcades, and tourist attractions, most famously on the 86th-floor observation deck of the Empire State Building.

Inside the booth, after inserting the necessary coins, you had 65 seconds to record your message or song. The discs themselves were 6-inches in diameter, and were designed to be mailed to friends or relatives as a kind of talking telegram, to be played on their home record player. The discs were made of laminated cardboard that withstood just a few playbacks.

By the late 1960s as access to tape recorders become commonplace, the Voice-O-Graph was rendered obsolete.

Sources / Resources

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