Retro Coin Op Synopsis
These magic machines (the Voice-O-Graph was probably the best known) were very popular in penny arcades of the 1940’s and 50’s, and like photo booths, they gave players a little something to walk away with. For about thirty-five cents, a songbird in training (or just a kid being a kid) could record a song or a short message.
Two minutes was all that technology granted in those days, and voices were laid down on a six-inch cardboard record that kids could then play at home. Believe it or not, a lot of real-life crooners put voice to permanent record this way—before they knew they were real-life crooners!
The International Mutoscope Company manufactured the last recording booth coin-ops in 1968. When portable cassette recorders caught on in the 70’s, the booths started to lose their novelty value. Besides, it was embarrassing when the whole arcade overheard your so-very-unlike-the-King Elvis impression.