Benjamin Thornton was the inventor of the first answer machine in 1935. It was the first answering machine which could be attached to a telephone in order to record a message from a caller. Today, most mobile phones make use of voicemail in order to keep track of messages left by callers. All the major telephone networks can offer telephone answering services which are similar to voicemail. In the old days, answering machines made use of magnetic tapes for recording the incoming callers voice. Nowadays, the modern phone answer machine uses solid-state storage.

The telephone answering machine is an effective method to keep track of those calls that you missed in the home, but it is in the office that the business answer machine really helps a lot. Communication in business is absolutely essential. Businesses throughout the world spend vast amounts of money on technology in order to keep communicating with suppliers, clients, and work colleagues. Business is now done on a global scale and it is important, especially if your office hours are restricted to your own location, for your clients, suppliers, and colleagues to be able to contact your business 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Not only does the answering machine let you receive all those orders that you might have missed otherwise, it also gives your customers the sense that they have reached you and that you will return a call as soon as possible.

No matter how big or small a business you run, you need a telephone answering machine which will suit your needs. First of all, you need to be aware that you have messages. Usually there will be a display somewhere on the answering machine which will alert you to the fact that you have messages and the number of messages that are recorded.

There are many different types of answer machine on the market. You can choose the standard corded answer machine which, as with most answering machines these days, comes as part of a telephone. Or you can purchase a cordless answer machine. Both of these machines are available for purchase on the Internet or at your local store.

Another, more modern version, is the digital answer machine. This machine basically stores sound digitally. When a caller gets put through to the answering machine, the message is broken down into data bytes which are stored on a low-power RAM module. If you caller leaves a 10 second message, this will convert into approximately 20,000 bytes. The 20,000 bytes are stored on the RAM module ready for later reading. You can also purchase a computer answer machine in the form of simple to use computer software.

Many people use their answering systems as a way of avoiding certain people. This is very convenient if you are busy at home or at work and you just haven't got the time to have that lengthy conversation that you know is coming if you answer your phone.