How does a fax machine work?

A fax machine, also called a telefacsimile, transmits (carries) graphic and textual information from one location to another through telephone lines. A transmitting machine uses either a digital or analog scanner to convert the black-and-white representations of the image into electrical signals that are transmitted through the telephone lines to a receiving machine. The receiving unit converts the transmission back to an image of the original and prints it. In its broadest definition, a fax terminal is simply a copier that can transmit and receive images. Although the fax was invented by Alexander Bain of Scotland in 1842, it wasn’t until 1924 that it was first used to transmit wire photos from Cleveland to New York as part of the newspaper industry.


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