The History of How the Fax and Scanner Machine Were Invented

A fax machine is a device designed to transmit data (texts, images) in graphic form over telephone channels. It appeared long before the advent of personal computers and networks. Fax machines have a large number of functions or can be one of the functional components of another type of device. For example, many multifunctional devices include a fax machine in addition to a printer, scanner, and copier.

A scanner is a device that, analyzing an object (image or text), creates a digital copy of its image. Scanners are an important part of electronic document processing systems and a necessary element of any electronic desk. They are used everywhere: in mega-companies, publishing houses, museums, small firms, at home, etc.

In times when you can talk to a person using a video connection, when making payments takes a few seconds, and news spreads at the speed of light, it is quite difficult to surprise someone with a fax machine and a scanner. Moreover, today there is an opportunity to use the “can I fax from an iPhone” application that performs all the functions of a fax and a scanner. The Fax App is free and easy to install and use, so it’s no wonder why many choose it over traditional fax and scanner machines. However, it is still interesting to learn about the invention of fax and scanner machines. Find the information below and decide whether it’s better to use a faxing app for iPhone or choose traditional fax and scanner.

How Was the Fax Machine Invented?

Back in 1843, the famous physicist from Scotland, Alexander Bain, patented a new method of data transmission. It was an electric telegraph that could be used to send simple images. In 1868, the Italian J. Caselli established the commercial production of similar devices, which were in great demand in Russia and France.

The German scientist Meyer 1868 opened a new direction in facsimile communications by creating an apparatus that works on the basis of a spiral element that is covered with ink and controlled by current. A similar method is used in some types of modern fax machines. Since 1953, the means of fax transmission have been telephone and radio communication.

How Does Faxing Work?

The principle of fax transmission can be described by the following algorithm:

  1. The area on which the original is broadcast is divided into many small parts with different optical densities;
  2. Each detail is studied and transformed into an electrical impulse, which is transmitted over a communication channel;
  3. The signal reaches the target and is transformed into a copy of the original as if a copier was used.

Despite the rapid development of Internet technology, the secretaries of most companies still use facsimile data transmission. Modern faxes can consist of such elements as a scanner, printer, and modulator. However, fax messages are increasingly sent today using the iPhone, which greatly simplifies the use of the device and the time spent by employees.

History of the Invention of the Scanner

The history of the scanner machine began more than 165 years ago. This was the beginning of the invention of the well-known telefax – a facsimile device that transmits and receives images at a distance. A scanner is one of the components of a telefax that provides data entry. In addition to it, a telefax includes a device designed to receive/transmit a signal to the addressee and a printer that prints messages. The first primitive prototype of the telefax was patented in 1843 by the Scottish inventor Alexander Bain. His invention was based on the application of the processes of electrochemistry and mechanics.

The inventor of the scanner as such is considered to be the German scientist Rudolf Hell. In the late 20s of the XX century, he created a prototype of a modern fax scanner that could transfer text and images into dots and lines and vice versa. In 1963, 120 years after Bain’s invention, Rudolf Hell discovered how to digitize color images by extracting three primary colors. 1964 is considered the birth year of the telefax when the Xerox company released the world’s first fax machine Long Distance Xerography LDX.

Types of Scanners

Due to the availability of various scanner machines, it is not difficult to send messages from a scanner today. In general, scanners can be classified according to several criteria. By degree of transparency of the original image:

  • Opaque originals (the image is captured in reflected light);
  • Transparent originals (the light that passed through the original is processed).

By image type:

  • Black and white (hatched or halftone);
  • Colored.

According to the kinematic mechanism, scanners are divided into manual, wide-format, projection, and special scanners.

Concluding Remarks

The fax and scanner machines, like any other inventions, have their own history that is important to know about. But their use is often complicated today. It is easier to use a dedicated fax app that combines all the features of these two devices and allows you to scan, send, and receive important documents without any problems.

Categorised as Blog