The Dictaphone: July and August, 1918

Information can be transmitted.

Information can be analyzed.

It can be manipulated

But, for those activities to take place, something else is necessary:  Information has to be stored. 

For which purpose, the three mid-1918 advertisements below – promoting The Dictaphone sound recording machine – are examples. 

The Dictaphone Company was founded by Alexander Graham Bell, the name – Dictaphone – being trademarked by the Columbia Graphophone Company in 1907.  The technology of the device was based on the use of wax-coated cardboard cylinders for sound recording.  The Dictaphone company existed through 1979 (!), when it was purchased, though retained as an independent subsidiary, by Pitney Bowes. 

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Though the advertisement uses different images – the Dictaphone itself; a “boss” or manager surveying inefficiency in an office setting; a generic office setting – and the “copy” also differs, the fundamental thrust of the ads is identical:  More efficient use of the employee labor, greater output of correspondence, and supplanting activity of absent employees. As per August 20, 1918: “No wonder that every stenographer away on her vacation adds greatly to the burden or short help, mail congestion and overtime work.”  (Uh-oh!)  Each advertisement closes with the suggestion that the prospective client should obtain a copy of Dictaphone Company’s booklet, “The Man at The Desk”.  

The full text of the three advertisements is presented below.

July 8, 1918

Why The Dictaphone for you?

The Dictaphone keeps the mail going out on time in spite of summer vacations.

The Dictaphone is the easiest, the most comfortable, the nerve-saving method of hot-weather dictation.

Two Dictaphone operators can write more letters per day than four able stenographers.  Dictaphone operators can wrote from 50% to 100% more letters per day, better letters, too.

Convince yourself with a demonstration in your office, on your work.  No obligations.

Secretaries and Stenographers: Send for free book, “One Way to Bigger Pay.”

Phone, Worth 7250          280 Broadway

“The Shortest Route to the “Mail Chute”

Write for “The Man at the Desk”

It is not a Dictaphone unless trade-marked “The Dictaphone,” made and merchandised by the Columbia Gramophone Company.

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August 13, 1918

“If I Only Had the Dictaphone!”

Four of his stenographers are spending two hours apiece per day taking dictation, and the fifth is on her vacation.  No wonder that much important dictation must wait until tomorrow.

Install the Dictaphone in his office, and he would not miss the girl on her vacation.  The other three girls would easily turn out more letters per day than all four when they have to write each other in shorthand as well as on the typewriter.

And with the Dictaphone right at his elbow all the time, he could dictate his important mail at the hour most convenient to him.

You need the Dictaphone as much as he.  Phone or write today for a demonstration in your office, on your work.

THE DICTAPHONE
Registered in the U.S. and Foreign Countries
Phone 7250 Worth           Call at 280 Broadway
Write for the booklet, “The Man at the Desk,” Room 224, 280 Broadway, New York

It is not a Dictaphone unless it is trade-marked “The Dictaphone,” made and merchandised by the Columbia Graphophone Company.

“The Shortest Route to the Mail Chute”

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August 20, 1918

The Dictaphone solves vacation troubles

Look at the waste!  The typewriter is absolutely idle.  One stenographer has been taking dictation continuously for nearly two hours.  The second stenographer is puzzling over her shorthand notes.  And all this time, not one letter is actually being written.

No wonder that every stenographer away on her vacation adds greatly to the burden or short help, mail congestion and overtime work.

What is the remedy?  Stop writing each letter twice.  The Dictaphone makes it necessary to write each letter only once – on the typewriter.  Result – from 50% to 100% more letters per day – better letters, too, and at one-third less cost.  Phone or write for demonstration in your office, on your work.

To Secretaries and Stenographers
You have to pay for the time you lose going back and forth to take dictation – and waiting to take dictation – with overtime work and constant strain and anxiety.  Send for free book “One Way to Bigger Pay.”

THE DICTAPHONE
Registered in the U.S. and Foreign Countries
Phone 7250 Worth           Call at 280 Broadway
Write for the booklet, “The Man at the Desk,” Room 224, 280 Broadway, New York

It is not a Dictaphone unless it is trade-marked “The Dictaphone,” made and merchandised by the Columbia Graphophone Company.

“The Shortest Route to the Mail Chute”

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References

Dictaphone (at Wikipedia)

Dictation Machine (at Wikipedia)

United Electronics Company: 1944

Some advertisements focus on products. 

Many advertisements focus upon – and intend to enhance – publicity. 

But, a certain kind of advertisement takes pride in and specifically focuses upon people – employees – as the fundamental basis for an organization’s success, growth, and prominence.  Such an example appears below:  A 1944 (or ’45?) advertisement in The New York Times by the United Electronics Company, of Newark, New Jersey, announcing receipt of the Army and Navy “E” (for excellence) award in manufacture of war materials.

Cleverly and appropriately, the ad juxtaposes the faces of four employees – two women; two men – who are obviously in not military service, upon one of its products (an electron tube).  Behind and above is the military’s “E” pennant. 

The United Electronics Company was founded in 1934 and – though no longer in existence – was in business at least through 1958, as evidenced through the company’s 1959 product catalog, at Bunkerofdoom.com.  In 1958, the company became part of the Ling Electronics, Group, Inc., at the time, “…being one of the first six or seven companies longest engaged in the design and manufacture of transmitting power tubes for the general market.” 

The company’s headquarters and manufacturing facility which once stood at 42 Spring Street, in Newark, New Jersey, no longer exists. 

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The electron tube displayed in the advertisement is a “Type 851 Modulator, A-F and R-F Power Amplifier, Oscillator”.  Technical specifications for the tube, presented in United Electronics’ 1947 catalog, are shown below. 

Notably, the tube’s price in 1947 was $160.00, which – given the rate of inflation – would seventy years later – 2017 – be approximately $1,760.  Now there’s a bit of a jump.

(Regretfully, a search of the United Electronics Catalog failed to reveal either the Q 36 Eludium Space Modulator, or, replacement parts for (* ahem * ) Interocitors...) 

So Much … For So Many

by so Few*

Today the United Electronics Company receives the coveted Army and Navy “E” Award for excellence in production of war materials.

We accept the citation with pride – and grateful recognition of the skill and loyalty of each man and women of our company who has toiled tirelessly to make possible the achievement and the honor.

Yet, as the distinguished banner now flies over our plant, we shall be mindful that this is no symbol of a goal completely won.  To us it will serve as a fresh daily inspiration in our aim for ever-faster and ever-better production of the communications equipment parts still urgently needed by our armed forces.

Under this new inspiration we pledge renewed and unceasing efforts.  In the way we can serve the best, we shall keep faith with our friends and loved ones on the fighting fronts – with the constant hope that the instruments we make play a useful part in bringing our men home safe – and sooner.

UNITED

ELECTRONICS COMPANY

NEWARK NEW JERSEY

     *United employees number hundreds, not thousands.  Yet in terms of production per employee and relative overall company output, we believe these men and women have achieved a record unsurpassed in the nation.

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“Header” page of United Electronics’ 1947 Power Tube Catalog

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Technical specifications of the Type 851 Modulator

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Google Earth view of 42 Spring Street in Newark, just north of Interstate 280 (Essex Freeway) and just west of the Passaic River.  One would never know what once existed there…

References

Ling-Temco-Vought (at Wikipedia)

United Electronics Company Tube Catalog (1947) (at Hathi Trust)

United Electronics Company Tube Catalog (1959) (at Bunker of Doom)

U.S. Inflation Calculator (at InflationCalculator.com)