I got this at an internet auction. I just thought it was an interesting early answering machine. I have no ambition to collect those machines as well.
When I got it, it did not work properly. Somebody had tinkered with it and messed up the mechanism. It took me a long time to figure out how it was supposed to work and get it working properly again.
Although it looks like a record player, the record is in fact a disk of magnetic tape with spiralled ridges to guide the reading head, which works just like a tape recorder.
It just plays a recorded messages. It does not record messages left by a caller.
In any case, there was a message on it. Apparently it had belonged to a previous collector. Here is what it said:
“U luistert op het ogenblik naar het oudste beantwoordapparaat van en door Ne Ne Nederlandse makelij.
Het apparaat is nu eigendom van de verzameling van Jan Wijngaard in Etten-Leur. Dit eh………achtergrondgeluiden en zacht onverstaanbaar gefluister.”
“You are listening at this moment to the oldest answering machine from and by a Du Du Dutch manufacturer.
The apparatus is now in ownership of the collection of Jan Wijngaard in Etten-Leur. This eeeeehm ……………background noise and soft whisper.”
The machine itself seems to be from the early 70s I think. It was indeed made in the Netherlands, but Greatz was a German manufacturer. Not sure it was totally licence built or just using some of the Greatz patents or something like that.