Smithsonian recognizes Message On Hold
Back in 1962, Alfred Levy had a problem. The broadcast from
the radio station located next door to his factory was being
picked up by his company's telephone system. An exposed wire
touching a metal girder was causing his building to act as
a transmitter, and in turn, broadcast music to callers placed
"on hold." Instead of looking upon this as an annoyance, Levy
looked upon it as a true entrepreneur would and patented Music
On Hold in 1966.
Alfred's idea has come a long way since wires rubbing against
steel. Other visionaries saw the marketing possibilities that
time on hold offered; they envisioned Message On Hold (MOH).
Since 1990, as a Tampa, Florida based corporation and MOH
innovator and leader, Message On Hold (and its former affiliate
names) has striven to assert its product's prowess as an extremely
effective marketing tool and gaining widespread recognition
throughout the business community.
In 1995, a Message On Hold predecessor presented their original
digital MOH unit along with the unit's tape cassette predecessor
and state-of-the-art prototype to the Smithsonian Institution.
In accepting the donation, Bernard Finn, curator in the Department
of Information and Society of the National Museum of American
History, noted, "These devices fit well with the Museum's
policy of collecting examples of technologies that have had
an impact on American life."
Where did the idea of message on hold come from? MOH's humble
beginnings started with a phone call to a bank and listening
to a competitor's ad while the radio played on hold. After
some initial technical difficulties working with standard
cassette equipment, the dawn of message On hold came with
the digital prototype in 1985 that allowed a pre-recorded
message on a cassette tape to be downloaded onto the unit's
internal digital chip. It wasn't until 1989 that mass-production
of the MOH digital unit brought Message On Hold to phone lines
across the nation.
In the new millennium, Message On Hold still utilizes the
MOH unit with the ground breaking digital chip download technology,
but now available for tape and CD pre-recorded productions.
The MOH CD unit boasts Flash Memory chips that retain the
message on hold even through a power loss. Message On Hold
didn't stop the innovations there! MOH has moved from all
analog recordings to the improved sound quality of recording
with digital computer technology. With the choice of marketing
messages, variety of music, and quality productions, Message
On Hold keeps sounding better and better decade after decade!