NOTE: On-Hold Marketing continues to be available for your phone system recording updates including COVID-19 messages. Read More

The History of the Hold Button

Hold button

It’s hard to imagine life without the telephone. Thanks to Alexander Graham Bell, phones have helped to cultivate and maintain countless relationships. Modern-day telephones and business phone systems allow transferring calls, placing people on hold, and having multiple people on the same call.  Phones are used to answer basic questions and allow companies to join together from distant locations to create contracts and business transactions. Without human to human interaction, we would be living every day like an android.  People and communication are what keep businesses alive, and phones play an important part in keeping up human interaction.

Did you ever wonder about the history of the telephone on-hold button? The on-hold button is believed to have been invented by Milton H. Herzman. Milton was working for New York Telephone where there were many telephones with multiple lines. The trouble was that each of these lines had to be disconnected before a second call could be answered. What an inconvenience! Milton used his background knowledge in radio, communications, and electronics to create a solution to the problem. He produced a working model of the on-hold button – and this was first successfully incorporated into the Western Electric Series E phone, patented in 1930.


Today, the telephone remains a valuable business tool for communication. Despite the introduction of email and online chats, the telephone is still a popular way of contacting an organization or business. High call volumes can only be handled effectively by placing callers on-hold – so it’s important to turn hold time into marketing time and reassure your customers that they have called a capable operation. On-hold messaging can be entertaining, educational and brand-building. Contact On-Hold Marketing today and turn that silence, beep or radio playing on your phone lines into productive marketing time. You will be glad you did.

Read about the history of telephone advertisements in this article.

The inventor…looks upon the world and is not contented with things as they are. He wants to improve whatever he sees, he wants to benefit the world; he is haunted by an idea.”  – Alexander Graham Bell


Add some life to your phone system

We can help you add some professionalism to your auto-attendant system or better market your special offers to callers who are waiting on-hold.

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 NOTE: On-Hold Marketing continues to be available for your phone system recording updates including COVID-19 messages. Read More