Fax Machine (Throwback Thursday)

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Benchers’ Digest, vol. 1 no. 3, 1988

The Law Society purchased its first fax machine in 1988. You might think fax machine is a 20th century invention. You will be surprised that the history of fax machines can be traced back to 1842. In 1860, Giovanni Caselli demonstrated his Pantelegraph, an early form of fax machine, to French emperor Napoleon III, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. With newer technologies such as email, scan-to-email, and online eFax services which enable email-to-fax and fax-to-email, is the fax machine dead yet? The few factors contributing to keeping fax machines alive are 1) wet signature, 2) confirmation, and 3) security of the landline. The demand for fax machines may be on the decline but it might be a while yet for them to join ham radios and super 8 recorders as collectable electronics.

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