Young people reading this entry likely do not remember a world without telephone answering machines. Yes, there was a time when you called someone and they weren't home that the phone just rang. And there was no way for that person to know you were trying to reach them while they were out. Weird, huh?
I seem to remember answering machines coming into vogue sometimes in the 1970s. It seemed like pretty cutting edge technology to me at the time. That's why I was surprised to see this article from the August 1934 issue of Modern Mechanix magazine. (click to enlarge)
I love that the inventor quoted in the piece, "predicts these machines will soon be in wide use."
Thanks to reader Frances for the tip on this awesome website that features dozens of magazine scans from the early Twentieth Century. He or she also made a point of making sure I saw this 1951 article on What Happens When You Mail A Letter. Good times!