1995 – Michael Jordan’s comeback fax
Twenty years ago basketball legend Michael Jordan announced his return to the game with a two-word fax: “I’m back.” It was a time when email was still not widely used, when fax was the most reliable and internationally recognised form of communication there was. Jordan’s return after 17 months in retirement was huge news and it spread around the world via fax. At the time, there was ‘fax on demand’, where organisations uploaded media releases to a host machine and journalists dialed in at any hour to receive a faxed update.
2011 – Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding invite fax
The invitations for Prince William and Kate’s wedding went out via fax. Courtiers told the British press that this was the most efficient way of doing it. To be fair, these were “save the date” announcements for the Westminster Abbey event, and the more ornate formal invitations were sent out later. But this was the first official news regarding who was invited, and royals and heads of state around the world waited anxiously beside their fax machines to see if they had made the list.
1995 – Stephen Hawking’s time travel fax
Britain’s The Face magazine was the ultimate in Brit style and fashion in the 80s, but by the mid-90s, it seemed to be losing its way. In 1995, to celebrate its 15th birthday, the magazine faxed physicist Stephen Hawking asking him for a time travel formula. Hawking faxed back: “Thank you for your recent fax. I do not have any equations for time travel. If I had, I would win the National Lottery every week.”