use of the fax machine to transmit images over telephone lines did not
become common in American businesses until the late 1980s, but the technology
dates back to the nineteenth century. Around 1843 in England, Alexander
Bain came up with a device 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 conductive surface.
Now even though a raw beggining for the fax machine, it was Alexander
Bain who plowed the way for the modern fax machine that you see spouting
information in offices across the world. The fax machine is an effective
and fast way to send messages and images from one place in the world to
another. And can be done quite simply, providing that you have a phone
line of course.
For many years, fax machines remained slow, expensive and difficult to
operate, but in 1966 Xerox introduced the Magnafax Telecopier, a smaller,
46-pound fax 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.