The history of Instrumental Transcommunication (ITC) (two-way communication or contact with ghosts or spirits through the use of electronic devices) actually is quite lengthy but not well known. Considered to be on "the fringe of ghost investigation" as only some forms of instrumental transcommunication have been accepted by the ghost hunting community, ITC has come to the forefront in the late 1900s, especially EVP. In recent years, use of the ghost box has also become more prominent.
The following is a brief history of ITC phenomenon of note...
1910: Priest Roberto Landell was seen communicating with spirits through a small box. Landell would speak to the box and the box would answer back. The priest would not share any information regarding the box or the spirit voices that were heard. The mystery of Instrumental Transcommunication was born.
1920s: It is believed by many that Thomas Edison, the great American inventor, had conceived of an Instrumental Transcommunication device to communicate with the dead. Some have called it “Edison’s telephone to the dead” based upon several quotes from Edison himself: “If our personality survives, then it is strictly logical or scientific to assume that it retains memory, intellect, other faculties and knowledge that we acquire on this earth. Therefore, if we can evolve an instrument so delicate as to be affected by our personality as it survives in the next life, such an instrument, when made available, ought to record something.” It is believed that Edison died before creating such a device, though many would like to theorize to the contrary.
1925: Brazilian Oscar d’Argonell communicates with the dead via the telephone and records the details of the calls, how they were made, etc.
1936: Spirit voices were captured on phonograph records by an American photographer by the name of Attila von Szalay.
1949: An old vacuum tube radio is used to record spirit voices by Marcello Bacci of Italy. A group of spirit guides would assist in bringing forth the dead to speak through the radio sounds, allowing visitors to Marcello’s home to receive messages from their dearly departed.
1952: The spirit voice of Father Gemelli’s dad was heard speaking to him through a magnetophone while recording music.
1959: The Swedish father of electronic voice phenomenon (known as EVP), Friedrich Juergenson, recorded a male voice and his mother’s voice speaking to him while recording bird songs in the wild.
1967: Latvian psychologist Dr Konstantin Raudive studied Juergenson’s methods, eventually recording tens of thousands of voices in a laboratory-like setting.
1971: Pye Records blocks out all radio and television communication frequencies and records Konstantin Raudive in studio by tape recorder. It was reported that over 200 voices were recorded during the eighteen minute session, none of which were heard until playback.
1979: The Spiricom is developed by George Meek and Bill O’Neill. Four years later, over 20 hours of recordings containing the voice of deceased NASA scientist, Dr. Mueller, as well as schematics to the communication device were made available to the world.
1984: Ken Webster receives over 200 messages over his computer by a spirit named "Thomas Harden" who was a former resident of his house in the 1500s. The messages were typed onto the screen by the spirit.
1985: Spirit images were recorded on Klaus Schreiber’s TV, by aiming a video camera at the TV screen to form a feedback loop.
1980s-1990s: EVP is experimented with extensively by many people. Experiments with various methods continue, such as using water, computers, white and pink noise and more to record spirit voices.
2000: Stefan Bion offers EVPmaker as a free software download that computer users can use to create acoustic raw material for spirits to formulate into words and sentences.
2002: Frank Sumption conceives of the idea to build Frank’s Box as a way to use audio bits and white noise for spirits and ghosts to formulate words through the device.
2007: Frank’s Box as well as several other models of the ghost box make their way to the front of ghost communication. By the end of the year, Joe’s Box, the MiniBox and the Radio Shack Hack become available for more people to experiment with ghost box communication.
2008 - Present: Numerous electronic devices are created for various forms of spirit communication.