Juli Phone telephone answering machine, c 1970.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Telephone answering machines did not become widespread until the 1960s. At that time they were quite bulky machines and usually to be found only in offices. The Juli Phone, made in Japan in about 1970, is typical in its size and is solidly constructed. A small 'activator transmitter' was included which could be carried around by the owner and used to play over incoming messages on a telephone remote from the machine, for example at the owner's home.