Time Announcer Machine

Frank Gentges fgentges at mindspring.com
Sun Jul 11 14:23:21 CDT 2010


I recall that as a kid, the local bank had a fancy machine in the lobby 
that had a rotating drum, a bunch of mechanisms connected to a bunch of 
magnetic heads on the rotating drum.  When you called the bank's phone 
number for time, the machine would play a short phrase extolling the 
virtues of the bank and then would connect to the suitable heads to 
piece together a voice announcement of the current time.  It may have 
also reported on the temperature.

The machine was very fancy and under glass and looked very complicated, 
at least for the time of the early '50a.  I think a number of banks 
around the area also had these.  The construction reminds me of 
telephone equipment.  It was horizontal, about 6 feet lone and about 2 
feet wide and lay on the floor.

Now, we would do it with a computer but I cannot find anything about 
these on Google search, nor have I seen one for years.  I cannot recall 
the name these were called but it was some string of Latin or Greek 
pieces like "chrono" with others and I suspect it was a trademark.

Does anyone know what these were called or where there might be a web 
page about these?  Perhaps there is a museum that has one.

Frank K0BRA

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