Facsimile transmission has been around in some form since Scottish inventor Alexander Bain created a rudimentary fax device he called the ‘Electric Printing Telegraph’ in 1843. Xerox Corporation introduced the first commercialised version of what is regarded as the the modern fax machine in 1964. In 1980 a standard fax communication protocol called G3 was adopted by the International Telecommunications Union including fax manufacturers, which saw fax uptake rates soar as prices dropped – in 1982 a fax machine could cost $20,000!
Despite the fax’s huge popularity before email came along (bringing with it in 1990 the first incidence of email spam), the fax ‘dinosaur of tech’ isn’t dead yet. Many businesses and medical services still like to use fax; it doesn’t require computer literacy to operate, and is generally more secure than its digital counterparts – it’s hard to hack a fax!
W. G. Goetz and Sons Ltd. fax pad, A4 210 x 297 mm. Click image for larger view.