Inventor Alexander Bain
Alexander Bain
Born12 October 1810
Watten, Caithness, Scotland
Died2 January 1877 | Age 66

Alexander Bain 1843

The first facsimile machine was devised by Alexander Bain in 1843. He declared that: "a copy of any other surface composed of conducting and non-conducting materials can be taken by these means".

Electric clocks 1841

Bain had already invented the electric clock. Using this knowledge he felt he could improve telegraphy by transmitting copies of actual written documents. Bain used a clock to synchronize the movement of two pendulums, a transmitter and a receiver, for line-by-line scanning of a message. He attached a stylus that was an electrically conductive to the swinging pendulum. Every swing over a conductive surface was reproduced at the receiver.
FAX Machine
FAX Machine


Frederick Bakewell went on to improve the concept with his "Image Telegraph" which he demonstrated at the 1851 World's Fair in London.

Many improvements came along and eventually the FAX machine became standard office equipment by the 1980s. It is still widely used but it's future looks a short one with computers now the favoured device for sending images.

Tags: FAX image facsimile transmission
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