Message On Hold units being presented to the
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC, February 13, 1995

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The 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!



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