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Office Machine Inventions

The Fax Machine

When was the fax machine invented?  1843?  1943?  1983?


The History of the Fax Machine - Alexander Bain
We owe the development of the fax machine to Alexander Bain, who received a patent for his invention in 1843.
By Mary Bellis

Facsimile transmission over wires or faxing was invented by Alexander Bain, a Scottish mechanic who in 1843 received a British patent for “improvements in producing and regulating electric currents and improvements in timepieces and in electric printing and signal telegraphs.” Seven years earlier, Samuel Morse invented the telegraph and the fax machine evolved from the telegraph technology. 

Alexander Bain had created a fax machine transmitter that was designed to scan a flat surface (made of metal) using a stylus mounted on a pendulum and the stylus picked up the images on the surface. An amateur clock maker, Alexander Bain adapted parts from clock mechanisms combined with telegraph technology to invent his fax machine.

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