Not many technologies enjoy a 50th anniversary. Even humankind’s true technological marvels, like NASA’s Space Shuttle (1981-2011), and ubiquitous devices we thought would last forever, like Sony’s cassette-playing Walkman (1979-2009), rarely see 35.
And today, May 5, 2014, modern fax celebrates 50 years of transmitting information across the globe.
What better time to celebrate than take a look at the innovative ways the modern fax has reinvented itself over the years. From a 19th Century “telefax” which was invented before the telephone to a 20th Century way of transmitting business documents over phone lines, the fax has made its mark in the business world. Now faxing is a 21st Century cloud-based service which can be transmitted via the internet and mobile devices to send and receive electronic documents without a fax machine, busy signals or paper jams.
So Happy Anniversary, Modern Faxing! Let’s take a quick tour of your incredible transition from pre-modern faxing 150 years ago and into today’s modern fax.
Happy 50th Anniversary From All of Us
On May 5, 2014, we celebrate the silver anniversary of the modern fax machine — 50 years of the modern fax over analog phone lines with fax machines and internet faxing from desktops and mobile devices.
So Happy 50th, Fax! Let's take a quick tour of your incredible, groundbreaking 150-year technological life and look forward to future innovation.
1843: Scottish inventor Alexander Bain receives a patent for his Electric Printing Telegraph.
1865: Italian physicist Giovanni Caselli introduces the first commercial telefax service between Paris and Lyon in 1865 — 11 years before the invention of the telephone.
1910: Newspapers in Germany, England and France are exchanging photos via fax by utilizing radio waves.
1964: (May 5) Xerox unveils the first commercialized fax machine, the Long Distance Xerography System, in New York.
1985: The Washington-to-Moscow hotline, also known as the "Red Telephone," is upgraded with faxing capabilities.
1995: 25 year old German musician Jaye Muller launches jFax (later becoming eFax), allowing business travelers to send and receive faxes electronically using their laptops.
2010: The eFax mobile fax app launches, letting users sign, send and save faxes directly on their smart phones. The tablet version launches a year later.
2012: The eFax app for Microsoft Word launches, allowing users to send faxes directly from Word.
2013: eFax unveils the finger-signature feature, allowing users to sign faxes directly on the screens of their mobile phone.
...and on May 5, 2014... The fax machine turns 50. Enjoy your party, Fax Machine. We at eFax can't wait to see what innovations fax technology will unveil next.
- “Mr. Bain’s Electric Printing Telegraph,” Mechanics' Magazine April 13, 1844, 268-70
- "Istituto Tecnico Industriale, Rome, Italy. Italian biography of Giovanni Caselli". Itisgalileiroma.it. Retrieved 2014-02-16. Jump up ^ The Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Giovanni Caselli biography