Thursday, August 06, 2009

In case you’re on Jeopardy! and the topic is “faxing”…

Came across this site today as I was doing some competitive research for MyFax and just had to share. It’s a cartoon called “The secret life of the fax machine” that shows both the history and mechanics of faxing. It’s chock full of trivia and explanations about aspects of how fax machines work that you probably never knew. I know I didn’t.

Here’s a good example. Ask most people when the fax machine was invented and they’ll probably tell you “sometime in the 1980s.” ANNNGGGHH! That answer is incorrect. According to the cartoon, the first fax machine was patented in 1843, and the first commercial use was in 1865, going between Paris and Lyon, France. (That venture failed, by the way, as no one at that time seemed to have any business that required that type of urgency.)

The “modern” information is a little outdated since it focuses on the mechanics of old thermal paper fax machines and doesn’t mention the option of Internet faxing at all. Still, if you like watching the History or Discovery channels it’s worth a look. Especially on the off-chance you are ever a contestant on Jeopardy! and one of the topics is faxing.

Anyone care to speculate what information was being sent on those early faxes?


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