Johnson City native Bob Cox is a longtime contributor to the Johnson City Press. He shares his vast knowledge of his hometown's history with readers each week. Reach Bob Cox at or


A photo of a Voice-O-Graph disc, which the company said made a perfect automatic voice recording.

When my family made trips to Daytona Beach in late 1959 and early 1960s, all of us made Voice-O-Graph discs. The machines were usually located in the Boardwalk Amusement Parks. The machines were so popular it was not unusual for travelers to stand in a line in front of them.

Over the next few years, I acquired eight discs, which sounded amazingly clear after all these years. I play them on a rare occasion and always get a healthy chuckle from of them. After all these years, they are priceless.

Marketing for a Voice-O-Graph follows:

“Personal records are simple and exciting to make with VOICE-O-GRAPH. The patron steps into what looks exactly like a telephone booth, picks up the microphone, which looks just like a telephone.

“The patron simply inserts his quarter in the and waits for the clearly indicated signal light, then dictates his letter, sings his song, speaks his piece, or records birthday, anniversary or holiday greetings exactly the way he wants them.

“A signal tells him or her when there’s one minute gone, when there’s ten seconds left and when the recording is finished. Immediately, the record is automatically played back and then vended. Special mailing envelopes are available for an additional five cents.

“What a thrilling, happy experience! It’s a fundamental fact that no one can resist the chance to make personal recordings — there’s a little Bing Crosby or John Barrymore in all of us!

“And it’s always fun to hear what we sound like to others. So it’s easy to understand why you just can’t miss making money with VOICE-O-GRAPH. Act Quick — Get the details today.

“VOICE-O-GRAPH came in two models. The STANDARD Model occupies 14”x 30” of floor space and has a height of 6’ x 6” and weight of approximately 275 lbs.

“The DELUXE MODEL occupied 6’x 9” and 400 lbs.

Loading Capacity: both models total 200 records and 150 envelopes.

“The Voice-O-Graph was said to promote the product with these words: “Like Talking on the Phone... but a thousand times more thrilling.”