25 Cool Facts about Fax Machines

Fax is one of the fastest and most secure ways of sending a large amount of data from one place to another.

Fax machines have been used globally as the prime way of electronic document delivery for decades. Invented in 1985, faxing has evolved so much over the years to where it stands today.

Despite the emergence of online fax services, a fax machine is still considered a reliable communication method in the 21st century.

According to mfax, approximately 18 million fax machines are in use throughout the USA right now.

Below we’ll reveal 25 thrilling facts about fax machines that everyone must know. Let’s jump right in!


25 Facts about Fax Machines

1. The Fax machines are Older than You Think

Most of us think that telephones were invented before the fax machine as telephones were spread more widely than fax, but the truth is that fax machines are way older than you think.

Alexander Graham Bell didn’t introduce the first telephone until 1876, whereas the first fax machine was invented in 1843 and entered commercial use much earlier than the phones.

2. Faxing Is the Most Widely Used Mean of Communication 

Faxing may have gone out of fashion decades ago, but it was never entirely out of use.

Millions of people, businesses, and government agencies still use fax machines because of easy-of-use, and well suited to existing work habits than emails and computer-based messaging.

3. Early Fax Machines Were Incredibly Expensive

The early analog fax machines were not nearly as advanced as modern versions and used to be crazy expensive, which is why only government agencies and businesses could afford to implement them. 1

4. The First Fax Machines Had Multiple Applications

Early first fax machines used to have multiple applications other than sending text and images through telegraph wires.

They were used for regulating the generation and distribution of electrical currents and potentially reinventing the way electric clocks worked.

5. Colored Fax Was Invented 80 Years Ago 

Herbert E. Ives was the first scientist to invent the color fax. He sent the first colored fax in 1942, which was a natural-colored photograph of actor Rudolph Valentino.

This invention ultimately influenced the early television and the colored TVs we have today. 2

6. Hank Magnuski Invented the First Computer-Based Fax In 1985

An entrepreneur and the founder of GammaLink, Hank Magnuski, invented the first computer-based fax board in 1985 to allow computers to join the network of fax machines and transmit documents across the United States.

The computer-based fax machines gained immense popularity and increased from 300,000 to over 4 million by 1989.

Read: What Is Fax?

Read: How To Fax Without A Fax Machine? 

7. Xerox Corporation Invented the First Commercial Fax Machine

In 1964, Xerox corporation revolutionized the world of faxing by inventing the first commercial fax machine.

The machine could be connected to telephone lines and can transmit letter-sized documents in 6-minutes.

8. 21st Century Faxing Is Much Easier Than the Older Method

21st-century online faxing is one of the most popular means of sending and receiving documents in industries and businesses.

Online faxing doesn’t require the fax machine to be connected to a phone line.

Instead, it is a combination of fax machines and the internet but eases the method of sending and receiving documents. 3

9. The Fax Transmission Standard Was Last Updated In 2005

There is a document known as ITU-T Recommendation T.30, which defines the faxing protocol and governs the activity of manufacturers.

The last version of the document dates back to 2005 and has not received an upgrade since then.

10. ax Machines Can Also Transmit Colored Images

Fax machines can also transmit color images other than black and white grainy images.

This feature was introduced in 1996 in the T.30 standard, and all the fax machine models after had the function of transmitting and printing-colored images.

11. Fax is More Secure than Email

In this modern era, when hacking is common, faxing is considered the safest way of sending messages and documents because it is hard to hack a fax machine than an email account.

In addition, it is also more reliable than Email because it has less chance of being blocked by spam filters.

12. Online Fax Service is Fast and Cost-effective

Online fax services and apps are the most time and cost-effective ways to send and receive documents.

The average cost of a fax machine for domestic use is about $100 to $200 for personal use, while high-end fax machines for office use cost up to $500 or more.

13. You Can Keep Your Documents Organized with Online Faxing 

With the help of online fax apps, you can store all your faxes in a single place and use them whenever you need them.

Online faxing offers Cloud storage, so you can easily save your files in it, organize them, and share them with ease. 

Read: How Long Does A Fax Take To Get Transmit?

14. Any Commands to MFP Firmware Are Processed as Print Jobs 

Only a few people know that if you want to update the MFO firmware, you need to print it.

MFPs are the primary printers, and any commands to the printer are usually processed as print jobs. Similarly, firmware updates are also seen as print jobs.

15. Japanese Are the Earliest Adopters of Fax 

During the economic heyday of the 1980s, the Japanese were the earliest adopters of the fax machine. It was considered to be as important as the dishwasher in every household.

Even today, fax machines are still in operation not only for individuals but also for corporate organizations. 4

16. The Oldest Fax Machine Still Exists

In 1847, Frederik Bakewell made some improvements to Bain’s invention of the electro-chemical copying telegraph and invented the image telegraph.

He then used the image telegraph to transmit the world’s first fax message.

Bain’s electro-chemical copying telegraph is being held in London at the Institution of Engineering and Technology. 

17. 3D Fax Was Introduced In the 21st Century 

3D Fax was introduced in the 21st century to scan and transmit 3D data.

First used to scan Michelangelo’s David and other pieces of artwork, the 3D fax became a popular method for sending binary files over a fax machine.

18. Human Operating Machines Are Not Very Secure  

Cybersecurity is one of the biggest security concerns these days.

Today, almost everyone uses computers and the internet without a security system which is a golden opportunity for hackers to steal your information.

If you have operating fax operated by humans, the chances of being insecure are even higher.

19. Fax Machines Connected by Phone Lines Can Be Easily Tapped 

Fax machines that are connected by phone lines can be tapped easily.

The new and advanced fax technology eliminates the danger of fraud. That is why the online fax method is more secure and convenient.

20. Fax Machines Can Hack a Corporate Network

Fax machines are often considered a reliable and trustworthy way of delivering sensitive information.

However, it is not entirely true, and fax machines could be compromised via an unprotected telephone line.

Moreover, there was a vulnerability found in the machine’s operating system module responsible for processing JPEG files received by fax that could be used to gain full control of any upcoming fax.  

21. The First Time Sent Fax Was a Picture of President Calvin Coolidge of The United States

Richard Ranger invented the world’s the first wireless radio-fax machine in 1924.

He used this to send a picture of President Calvin Coolidge from New York to London by photo radiogram, and a picture of British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin was sent back to New York in reply. 5

22. The Modern Fax Machines Does a Lot More Than Faxing

The modern fax machines are more than just fax machines and can be seen as mini computers.

Today, fax machines have multifunction printers or all-in-one (AIO) units that combine scanner, photocopier, printer, and faxing in one machine.

Modern fax machines can be connected to phone lines to send and receive a fax and can be hooked up to a home or corporate network to provide easy scanning and printing.   

23. Tracking Of Transmission Has Improved with Online Faxing 

Online faxing makes the process of tracking easier than manual tracking.

Users of cloud-based faxing can have digital copies of faxes in their online storage. In addition, fax machines transmit receipts, making it easy to track your fax.

Read: 10 Best Online Fax Services

Read: 10 Best Fax App For IPhone And IPad

24. Faxing Market Is Expected to Reach $5.47 Billion By 2027

In 2021, worldwide fax service was valued at about $2.92 billion. And is supposed to reach $5.47 billion by 2027.

New technologies are coming out every day, such as 5G, cloud computing, and the internet, which are contributing to the growth of the faxing market.  

25. It’s Been 180 Years Since the First Fax Was Sent 

Alexander Bain, the inventor of the fax, sent his first fax to his associate in London via telegraph wires in the year 1843, which marked the beginning of a new era of communication.

After that, people were able to send their documents using a telephone line.

History of Fax Machine

What was before FAX?

Before the fax machine was invented, people used other methods to send documents and images over long distances.

The telegraph was one of the first ways to do this, followed by the telephone. Both of these technologies required special equipment and trained operators.

The fax machine made it possible for anyone to send a document quickly and easily without any special training or equipment.

Wrap Up

These were some fun facts about fax and fax machines, and we hope you got to learn some new things about fax and found this article interesting.

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  1. https://today.tamu.edu/2015/08/06/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-fax-machine/[]
  2. https://www.efax.com/blog/brief-history-of-the-fax-machine[]
  3. https://theconversation.com/why-do-people-still-use-fax-machines-109064[]
  4. https://medium.com/tokyo-fintech/a-short-history-of-the-fax-machine-in-japan-eceadc631936[]
  5. https://www.abebooks.com/signed/Signed-Reproduction-First-Fax-Sent-Ranger/4362294615/bd[]

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