The fax machine has a much longer history than you might think! Invented back in 1843 by Alexander Bain, the "Electric Printing
Telegraph" was the world's first faxing device. Since then, faxing has transformed many times, and
is still widely used today.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the AT&T Corporation advanced fax technology by sending photos via wire transmission.
Soon after, The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) successfully transmitted a wireless fax across the Atlantic Ocean. It
wasn’t until decades later though that the first modern-day, commercialized fax machine was introduced by the Xerox
Over the past 75 years, fax transmission time has reduced from an average of six minutes to an average of one minute. The
classic "fax machine" of the 1980s (which cost $20,000 in 1982!) has also become obsolete, and faxes are now routinely
sent from computers, smartphones or tablets.
eFax has paved the way for 21st century faxing with the convenience of online fax. Simply snap a photo of your document and
digitally sign the fax right on your
iOS or Android device, then send along to anywhere in the world with the tap of a button. Faxing has never been
easier than it is now!
Sign up for eFax today and see for yourself.
The History of the Fax Machine
1843: Mechanical Fax — Alexander Bain invents the ‘Electric Printing Telegraph’ machine in 1843 which is the world’s first fax
1880: Scanning PhotoTelegraph — The English inventor Shelford Bidwell invents the Scanning PhotoTelegraph machine, which is the first telefax machine capable
of scanning and sending a two-dimensional image.
1888: TelAutograph — In 1888 the TelAutograph machine was invented by Elisha Grey which allowed users to send signature images over long distances.
1924: Wire Transmission — Scientists at the AT&T Corporation advance fax technology further by sending photos by telephone/wire transmission.
1924: Wireless Transmission — The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) develops the TransOceanic Radio Facsimile and successfully transmits a photograph
between New York and London.
1924: Color Fax — The AT&T Corporation invents a fax device which is capable of transmitting the world’s first color facsimile.
1924: 6 mins — It took 6 mins to send a single page fax.
1960: Satellite Fax — The U.S. Army sends the world’s first photograph via satellite facsimile from America to Puerto Rico.
1964: Telephone Transmission — The first commercialized version of the modern-day fax machine is introduced and patented by the Xerox Corporation using
1974: 3 mins — It took 3 mins to send a single page fax – how long does an eFax transmission take?
1982: $20,000 — A fax machine cost $20,000.
1982: Computer Based Fax Board — GammaLink introduced the first computer based fax board, the GammaFax.
1996: Internet Fax — The first internet fax service is made available to the general public allowing users to send and receive a facsimile via
a computer without fax machines.
2010: Internet Fax via Apple Devices — eFax launches iOS app, allowing users the ability to fax directly from their Apple devices.
2011: Internet Fax via Android Devices — eFax launches Android app, enabling users with Android devices to send faxes.