Evolution of Fax Machines

The word fax is an abbreviation for the word facsimile, which means creating a duplicate copy of a written or printed material. Fax machines are being extensively used to send information in the form of images or printed text through electric currents from one place to another. This technology is used mostly for official work where instant information can be sent on paper, or hard copy of information can be sent immediately, from places that are physically away.
History of Fax Machines:

  • The invention of facsimile technology was done by Alexander Bain in the year 1843. The technology he developed using pendulums of a clock and cylinders transmitted images but of a poor quality.

  • Frederick Bakewell improvised on Alexander Bain’s invention by substituting pendulums with cylinders and succeeded in producing a clearer image.

  • Even if the technology or machine was invented it was not put to use or commercially made available until the year of 1865.

  • The credit for commercial success of fax machines could be given to Giovanni Caselli. He further improvised on the previous versions and called his fax machine as the Pantelegraph, which meant sending images through wire, like the telegraph.

  •  After the invention of telephones by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876, many upgradation was done to Giovanni Casseli’s invention of Pantelegraph to send fax through telephone wires.
  • Shelford Bidwell: Usage of selenium cells to send images through telephone lines. Also called it as tele-photography.

  • Edouard Belin: Used the power of light to create impression of image. Called it Belinographe. The technology of sending signatures through fax was called as Teleautograph. Ushering into the twentieth century fax become hugely popular and also underwent some major changes and updates technology and result wise.

  • Radio fax: Used radio transmission signals to send images. Herbert E Ives introduced colour to the until now black and white fax machines. In the mid 1900’s the Xerox Corporation, pioneers in fax industry introduced the long distance machines that could send a whole document from one place to another within six minutes.

  • With the demand of fax machines increasing the competition in the market increased which led to launch of efficient, quicker and smaller in size fax machines.


Importance of Fax Machines:

In the age of technology every year some or the other technology or product becomes outdated and is not used extensively anymore. For example: pagers, CD disks etc. But fax machines have remained an integral part of our work for more than fifty years now.

Fax has evolved to suit digital needs:

One of the main reasons that fax does not become irrelevant is because it keeps on updating itself to suit modern lifestyle needs. For our internet savvy generation using smartphones, telephone lines are becoming less attractive. To counter this problem there is a technology that could transmit fax through internet using internet protocols. Though not as faster as telephone lines yet works as efficiently.

Has prominence and relevance in today’s world:

Fax machines are extremely important for business small and large alike https://www.faxburner.com/. The amount of security and accuracy served by fax machines in transferring important documents such as financial documents or medical records cannot be achieved in other forms of transmission. The breakdown of a fax machine can potentially bring down the business to a halt for that duration. Hence businesses all over the world ensure that their fax machines are working well.

Topmost Secure Mode of Transmission:

The main reason why fax remains so popular and relevant till date is due to the strict T30 protocol it follows to ensure secure data. The protocol enables the data to transfer from node to node without any interruption, in chance of malicious activity detected the transfer stops and the whole transaction is deemed failed. Reports of these activities are received by the sender as well as the receiver.

Adaptive Nature of fax to every environment: The technology of fax is extremely compatible with all business types, size whether large or small, and technologies. It is compatible with resource management software such as ERP and CRM as well document software such as Microsoft office etc.