Monday, November 10, 2008

The History of Fax According to Art

Go ahead, you can do it, no one will see you. It's ok to hug your fax.

Facsimile "make similar", "make a copy" was invented in 1843 by Scottish mechanic and inventor Alexander Bain. He received a British patent for “improvements in producing and regulating electric currents and improvements in timepieces and in electric printing and signal telegraphs”, and the fax was born, well not entirely.

Alexander Bain's fax machine transmitter scanned a flat metal surface using a stylus mounted on a pendulum. The stylus picked up images from the metal surface. An amateur clock maker, Alexander Bain combined parts from clock mechanisms together with telegraph machines to invent his fax machine.

I can remember one of the main applications for fax was that of military use, when we demonstrated the technology we also spoke of how it was first used by the military. In fact the military adopted faxing in 1943 to transmit maps, orders and weather charts during World War II.

It was not until 1948 that the FCC authorized commercial use of fax technology, Western Union then manufactured 50,000 Deskfax machines for use at their offices.The first users of facsimile were newspapers to transmit and receive photos from around the world. The next user of facsimile were the weather services around the world.

Sixty years have passed since Western Union created the Deskfax. Remember these words, fax is dead, there's no need for fax when you have email. I'll admit that email has taken some of the fax machines popularity away, however there is still some type of fax in every office, whether its a stand alone product, a modem in a pc or a modem in multifunctional copy machine.

What would we have done in the eighties with out the fax? Any of you remember the Teli Vaxafax (made in Sweden)
I can remember some funny stories about faxing. Back in the Eighties, selling copiers we always ran across a rude "gate keeper" when we were telemarketing for copiers. Now, one of the quickest ways to get information to a customer was to "fax" a brochure, sometimes we had a fax number and sometimes we did not. However, it was not wise to be rude on the phone if we had your fax number. On a few occasions we would get the number of the fax machine from someone who was rude or hung up on us. We would then take a few sheets of letter paper and tape them together to make a long document, in most cases it was three sheets taped together. We would then dial the number, press the start key, once the paper started to feed (you had to remember that the early fax machines were very slow) we would then create a loop in the paper taping the end of the document to the beginning. Well, that's all it took, we would then let the fax do its work. What happened at the other end was that the fax would continue to receive the transmission until either the machine ran out of paper or the fax was turned off.
Well, it was funny back in the Eighties.

-=Good Selling=-

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