After the invention of the first recording sound, engineers, technicians, and scientists worldwide saw the need to create the dictation machine. They wanted something that can be used to record speech for future playback. But as technology advances, new and more versions of dictation devices keep on flooding the market.

These devices are finding their way to the common user and the professional environments as well. Such professional environments include public telephone services, medical facilities, and boardrooms.

History of the Dictation Machine

After Thomas Edison invented his first phonograph, another great mind named Alexander Graham Bell saw the need to create wax cylinders that were easier to use for producing a better sound and easy to manufacture. Alexander Bell, together with his manufacturing Volta Laboratory developed a Volta Graphophone Company, which introduced the first Dictaphone to the general public.

In the following years, Bell together with Edison came together to secure the market for their devices. But the reusable wax cylinders at the end emerged successful during the 1980s, prompting the Dictaphone to become successful as well. In 1907, Dictaphone’s name had already become successful, making it a synonym to all recording devices with similar use. However, Edison tried so much to regain dominance with his Ediphone, but that didn’t work.

Development of Dictation Equipment Industry

As the year passed, Bells Dictaphone Company kept on changing owners over tens. These changes saw an improvement in the recording industry with regard to the available technology. Between the 1900s and 1950s, the manufactures of the Dictaphone tried to lose weight their equipment and improve their capacity to enable them to record for long.

With many manufacturers entering the competition and the urge to find new technology for military use in the Second World War, the magnetic tapes started entering the market at a lower price. The magnetic tape was also reliable for storing sound data. From the 1950s, the making of speech recording devices became rampant, and they could record significantly longer sessions compared to general recorders.

Importance of a Dictating Machine

Different from other recordings that you know, Dictaphone has three main advantages. The first one is battery life. The Dictaphone has a battery life of 48 hours maximum. You can also carry an extra battery with them when going on the field. Also, you don’t need to take a class course to learn how to operate a Dictaphone. Using it is so easy.

You can playback and record anytime you want by single pressing a record button, pausing, stopping, and then playing. It has a superb quality sound. Have you ever come across a modern Dictaphone? Well, if you’ve, then you’ll be able to notice the advancement this recording machine comes with. HiFi technology has enabled it to produce more quality sound.

The Popularity of Dictating Machine

Dictaphones never lost their meaning until the arrival of cassette tapes which tried to push the Dictaphone industry out of the market. But that didn’t shake the Dictaphone industry as the surviving Dictaphone factory created its cassette that looks and operates exactly like Dictaphones. They were small, portable and their speech capability was on another level—great speech recording capabilities under the new ownership of Lanier Business Solutions.

Then in the late 1970s, there was the introduction of the new Dictaphone magnetic tapes, including mini cassettes, pico cassettes, and microcassettes. With their small storage size, the manufacturers were able to create small recording devices that can record more than their previous non-portable versions. In the 1980s, digital recording started bringing the latest Dictaphones to the market, which has remained the default means of sound recording until today.

Wrapping Up

Dictaphones are very much available to this day. The main suppliers of Dictaphone companies today are journalists and medical transcribers. It’s still the most reliable device that can be used to capture accurate sounds and high-quality audio.

Furthermore, advancements in technology have seen many smartphones coming with built-in recorders, similar to Dictaphone. For journalists, it’s a must to have this device because of how busy they seem to be with their phone calls, prompting them to have a separate voice recorder.

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I am an avid Mac-user, nerd, musician, freelancer, and gamer. Ask me about my collection of M:TG cards! I've also got a horrible habit of needing the absolute newest technological wonder, whether it's stable or not. If they made a home-version of the LHC, I'd have 2. Additionally, I've been playing music for the better part of 14 years. I'm self-taught on piano, guitar, trumpet, trombone, sax, clarinet, bass, drums and other percussion, and around 10 other instruments. I also spend quite a bit of time dabbling in synthesizers, sequencers, and samplers. I'm also founder of Quotelicious where I collect and share the quotes I love.


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