Joseph Zimmermann

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Joseph Zimmermann (1912 – March 31, 2004) was an engineer, born in Kenosha, Wisconsin who invented the first answering machine, called the "Electronic Secretary". Zimmermann graduated from Marquette University in 1935 with a degree in electrical engineering.[1] He served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War II and was among the first soldiers to land on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, as part of the D-Day invasion.[1] In addition to the patent on the telephone answering machine (1948), Zimmermann held dozens of other patents, including a security device that automatically dials a phone number and conveys information in case of an emergency; a magnetic recorder used to monitor heart patients; a system for accessing prerecorded lectures to earn college credit; an airport system to send out landing information to planes 24 hours a day.[citation needed] Zimmermann and his wife, Helen, had a son, Joseph.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Douglas Martin. "Joseph J. Zimmermann Jr., 92, an Inventor, Is Dead", The New York Times, April 11, 2004.

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