History of Fax Machine - Beginner's Guide

Trace the evolution of the fax machine from its invention to modern-day digital faxing.See how it transformed.

History of Fax Machine - Beginner's Guide
History of Fax Machine - Beginner's Guide

Brief History of the Fax Machine

Bain was a Scottish philosopher and educator at the English school of empiricism and a prominent figure in logic, philosophy, and education. He was also innovative. He was a professor and was twice elected Lord Chancellor. Scottish inventor Alexander Bain invented the first fax machine. Although it was poor in terms of image quality and purpose, it was fine according to the technical conditions of that day.

The advent of the fax machine started a worldwide shift in the way business is done. The telegraph machine was created by Samuel Morse in 1835. Bain, on the other hand, took advantage of this technology. He combined parts of clockworks with telegraph machines. Used “pendulums” and a “clock” to synchronize and capture images line-by-line. It took a long time for fax technology to advance as we know it.


In 1964, Xerox invented the Long Distance Xerograph (LDX), a fax machine that can transmit regular-sized documents to any fax machine. It took 6 minutes to do this. Xerox was at the forefront of development in Fax machines.

Analog Faxing

Analog fax machines took faxing to the next level. Back then, people believed that fax was the safest way to send private data. But analog fax machines are on the rise. Companies used it. Fax machine technology was changing.

Multifunctional Devices

Adding fax machines to multifunction devices and copiers seemed more functional. Scanning, copying, and sending documents from a single device helped to use time effectively. But multifunctional devices cost more than traditional fax machines. Installing this server may cost a lot, but the paper cost will also be reduced. A great convenience for businesses that continue to use fax machines today. These devices are basically computers. First, they connect to a telephone line to receive and send faxes. Second, they are often connected to a home or corporate network to provide easy printing and scanning.

Online Faxing

Everything has started to go digital. This change began in the mid-1990s. The digital fax machine enables faxing via cloud technology. You can use it on all your smart devices. Online faxing is sometimes referred to as internet fax or e-fax. It is cost-effective and simple to use. Also, it is fast and useful. If you ask if it is safe, our answer is yes. With the end-to-end encryption method, your documents and information are protected. Today, many companies use online fax. All you need is an online fax account and an internet-connected device. You can send faxes from anywhere in seconds.


  • 1843: Alexander Bain invented the ‘Electric Telegraph Press’ machine, the first fax machine.
  • 1850: F.C. Blakewell received a patent for what he called the “copying telegraph”.
  • 1860: The Pantelegraph, the fax machine called the Pantelegraph invented by Giovanni Caselli, sent the first fax between Paris and Lyon.
  • 1880: Shelford Bidwell invented the first telefax machine that could scan and send a two-dimensional image. It was called Scanning PhotoTelegraph.
  • 1888: Elisha Gray invents the invented TelAutograph machine. Signature images could be sent over long distances.
  • 1924: The Telephotography Machine is used for newspaper publications and to send photos of political conventions. It was developed by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T).
  • 1926: Radiophoto is created, which faxes documents using radio waves.
  • 1947: Alexander Muirhead invents the successful fax machine.
  • 1964: The first commercialized version of today’s fax machine used telephone transmission. Patented by Xerox Corporation.
  • 1982: The Computer-Based Fax Board was invented. GammaLink introduced the GammaFax.
  • 1996: The first internet fax service is made available to the public. Allows send and receive a facsimile via a computer.
  • 2010: Internet Fax via Apple Devices allowing users the ability to fax.
  • 2011: eFax launches Android app, enabling users with Android devices to send faxes.

How Does the Fax Machine Work?

Fax is used in workplaces for document transmission. Both the recipient and sender must have fax machines. The sender first scans the document by the machine. You must place the documents in the order they were sent. The document then reaches the recipient’s machine via the telephone network and is printed. The number is used as a telephone line. This number must be dialed for sending. It is one of the indispensable equipment of offices. You can send internal and external faxes, and they can also be used for international sending.

If you are a recipient, you can understand that you will receive a fax with a warning beep. Besides technical information, communication rules are also important. If you are sending a fax to an official institution, you can use the petition format. If you are sending to the units with which you have a business relationship, you can use the e-mail format. After typing the recipient’s title, name, and surname, you can send your message to the right person by typing “Attention”.

The Importance of Fax Today

Fax usage still continues today. It is used in corporate correspondence, the transmission of official documents, and inter-institutional communication. There are many reasons why faxing is still important. It is a globally accepted method. Thanks to the sending reports, it is known whether the fax has reached the recipient or not. It is considered a legal shipping method in many institutions. There are secure fax lines that prevent threats such as cyber-attacks. And protected by 256-bit SSL encryption. It has simple usage. It can be easily integrated into any in-house software (such as CRM).


When the fax machine was invented it was considered one of the greatest means of communication. used to send both text messages and audio recordings. Germany, Japan, and the USA are some of the countries where fax use is still most common. It is mainly used in the execution of health services and financial sectors in these countries. In fact, fax machines are used not only in companies but also in homes in Japan. As we mentioned above, it has many uses and importance. For this reason, the fax machine is still used.

If you want to learn more about nowadays fax technology, you can take a look at our blog post about What is Online Faxing? What are the 4 Common Right Uses of Online Faxing.


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