The answering machine, a piece of technology people use all over the world, was invented here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The first answering machine was created by Joseph Zimmerman, a Milwaukee native, who had the idea for the invention after he spoke with an air conditioning and heating specialist who told him he did not want to leave his office because he had no secretary to take his phone calls. It weighs nearly 80 pounds and consists of two boxes; one had a record tape play and the other had a wire tape, which worked together to record the messages. Zimmerman created the answering machine in his Milwaukee home, patenting his creation in 1949. The museum currently has four different models of answering machines from the years 1949, 1965, 1968 and 1972.