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Corporate History

Electronic SecretaryETC’s history grew from a revolutionary idea. In 1949, its founder George Danner, along with Joseph Zimmerman, an equally aspiring engineer, introduced their Electronic Secretary telephone answering and recording device. While simple by today’s standards, this device offered the telephone company a means to not only provide its customers service, but the power to generate revenue with an ordinary telephone.

The two-man Electronic Secretary operation grew to 60 employees. General Telephone System approached the founders for acquisition and a merger which consummated in 1957. By 1963, with 160 employees, annual sales exceeded four million dollars. Further integration took place with General Telephone Company’s largest manufacturing facility, GTE Automatic Electric, as the Waukesha Branch. In 1980, Danner left GTE to establish Electronic Tele-Communications, Inc. and introduced central office digital voice announcers.

Two acquisitions followed. In 1989 ETC acquired The Audichron Company, inventor of the telephone time of day answering system. In 1991, ETC acquired Automation Electronics Corporation, expanding ETC’s offerings to include business equipment such as call sequencers and announcement devices.

ETC operates from facilities in Waukesha, Wisconsin and Norcross, Georgia. Recording services and weather forecasting are maintained at the Norcross facility, while manufacturing takes place at the Waukesha facility.

 Remember When?

1933
Introduction of Audichron Time of Day by Telephone Systems, the world’s first voice response system, is introduced.

1946
Installation of Audichron automatic intercept system installed, becoming the world's first intercept announcement system.

1949
George Danner and Joseph Zimmerman of Electronic Secretary Industries manufacture the first telephone answering machine.

1974
Automation Electronics Corporation (AEC) introduces the industry’s first automated call sequencer.

1980
Electronic Tele-Communications, Inc. (ETC) is born. Brand name of “Digicept” digital voice announcers is introduced to the telecommunications industry.

1985
ETC goes public and begins trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market.


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