|Fascinating facts about the invention of the Fax Machine by
inventors Alexander Bain, Elisha
Gray, Arthur Korn, and Edouard Belin
beginning in 1843.
|The use of the fax machine to transmit images via
telephone lines did not become common in American businesses until the late 1980s, but the
technology dates back to the nineteenth century. In 1843 in England, Alexander Bain
(1818-1903) devised an apparatus comprised of two pens connected to two pendulums, which
in turn were joined to a wire, that was able to reproduce writing on an electrically
the Italian physicist Giovanni Caselli built a machine he called a pantelegraph (implying
a hybrid of pantograph and telegraph), which was based on Bains invention but also
included a synchronizing apparatus. His pantelegraph was used by the French Post &
Telegraph agency between Paris and Marseilles from 1856 to 1870.
Elisha Gray (1835-1901), American inventor, born in Barnesville,
Ohio invented and patented many electrical devices, including a facsimile transmission
system. He also organized a company that later became the Western Electric Company.
In 1902, Arthur Korn (1870-1945) in Germany invented
telephotography, a means for manually breaking down and transmitting still photographs by
means of electrical wires. In 1907, Korn sent the first inter-city fax when he transmitted
a photograph from Munich to Berlin.
In 1925, Edouard Belin (1876-1963) in France constructed the
Belinograph. His invention involved placing an image on a cylinder and scanning it with a
powerful light beam that had a photoelectric cell which could convert light, or the
absence of light, into transmittable electrical impulses. The Belinograph process used the
basic principle upon which all subsequent facsimile transmission machines would be based.
In 1934, the Associated Press introduced the first system for routinely transmitting
"wire photos," and 30 years later, in 1964, the Xerox Corporation introduced
Long Distance Xerography (LDX).
For many years, facsimile machines remained cumbersome, expensive
and difficult to operate, but in 1966 Xerox introduced the Magnafax Telecopier, a smaller,
46-pound facsimile machine that was easier to use and could be connected to any
telephone line. Using this machine, a letter-sized document took about six minutes to
transmit. The process was slow, but it represented a major technological step. In the late
1970s, Japanese companies entered the market, and soon a new generation of faster, smaller
and more efficient fax machines became available.
TO LEARN MORE
of Office Equipment
from The Great Idea Finder
ON THE BOOKSHELF:
Inventions That Shaped World History
by Bill Yenne, Morton, Dr. Grosser (Editor) / Paperback - 112 pages (1993) / Bluewood Books
This book contains inventions from all around the world from microchips to fire. This is a
really good book if you are going to do research on inventions.
Laser Fax Guide
by Better Buys For Business / Paperback: 80 pages / Progressive Business
Comprehensive unbiased reviews of every laser fax machine on the market. Includes
performance tests, price comparisons, Editor's Choice top selections, buying tips and more
that save you time and money.
ON THE WEB:
The Fax Machine
SciTech, Carbons to Computers series from the Smithsonian Institution.The
facsimile machine was invented in 1842 by Alexander Bain, a Scottish
clockmaker, who used clock mechanisms to transfer an image from one
sheet of electrically conductive paper to another. Bain patented the
"automatic electrochemical recording telegraph" in 1843.
Bain & the Fax Machine
The patent for the fax machine was granted on 27 May 1843, 33 years before the patent was
given for the telephone.
At the age of twelve he went to hear a penny lecture on science which, according to his
own account, set him thinking and influenced his whole future.
3D Fax Machine
There is a growing interest in the graphics, vision, and manufacturing communities in
building an inexpensive device capable of digitizing the shape and external appearance of
objects for transmission, display, and numerically controlled fabrication.
Send Faxes From Your Browser
An online service that lets you send faxes to anyone from any web-enabled computer. If you
can get to a web page, you can send a fax to any fax machine in the world.
Fax Machine Online
Get your own email address, and start receiving email on
your fax machine, without a computer or Internet Service Provider.
HOW IT WORKS:
Facsimile Transmission, or fax, communications system
for the electrical transmission of printed material, photographs, or drawings. Facsimile
transmission is accomplished by radio, telephone, or undersea cable. The essential parts
of a fax system are a transmitting device that translates the graphic material into
electrical impulses according to a set pattern, and a synchronized receiving device that
retranslates these impulses and prints a facsimile copy. In a typical system the fax
scanner consists of a rotating cylinder, a source projecting a narrow beam of light, and a
photoelectric cell. The copy to be transmitted is wrapped around the cylinder and is
scanned by the light beam, which moves along the cylinder as it revolves.
The output of the photoelectric cell is amplified and transmitted to the receiving end,
where a similar cylinder, covered with specially impregnated paper, revolves in
synchronism with the transmitting cylinder. A light of varying intensity moves along the
rotation cylinder and darkens the paper by chemically reproducing the pattern of the
DID YOU KNOW?:
- Between 1973 and 1983, the number of fax machines in the
United States increased from 30,000 to 300,000, but by 1989 the number had jumped to four
million. By the late 1980s, compact fax machines had revolutionized everyday
communications around the world.
- In 1876 Elisha Gray filed an unsuccessful claim for the
invention of the telephone, just hours after American inventor Alexander Graham Bell filed
his successful patent for its invention.
- Telefacsimile (tela-fak-sim -ie) machines (telefax or
Sources in BOLD Type
page revised February, 2005.
Berners-Lee's invention has revolutionized the world like nothing
The invention of the Internet,
should be classed with the greatest events of the 20th Century.
The Aero Sport All-Terrain Bed
with Dual Power Pump is the perfect addition to any camping trip or weekend
book, is the perfect desktop reference for both the science novice and the
technologically advanced reader alike.
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