5 Famous Faxes in History
Since Alexander Bain invented the Electric Telegraph, the world’s first fax machine, faxing has grown in leaps and bounds. Fax, a short form of the word facsimile, experienced its peak in the years between the early 1980s and mid-2000s. Since then, traditional fax machines have largely been replaced by a new and innovative technology known as online or internet faxing. MyFax.com, one of the top online faxing companies, allows you to send faxes through their website, mobile app, or via email.
Faxing has a storied history. Some of the seminal moments in world history have been marked by the sending or receiving of faxes. Here are some of the most memorable ones.
The First Fax Ever
As the creator of the fax machine, Alexander Bain was also the first person to send a fax message. The Scotsman is widely hailed as the “father of faxing,” having set in motion the processes that led to the invention of the fax machine. He worked on chemical and mechanical fax-type gadgets, and he succeeded in reproducing graphic signs in the laboratory and sending an image over a wire.
Commercial Faxing is Born
In May 1924, AT&T took faxing to a whole new level by transmitting 15 photographs from Cleveland to New York City. They used a process known as electric photo transmission. In the wake of Alexander Bain’s invention, many other inventors, including Shelford Bidwell, Elisha Gray, and Arthur Korn made improvements to the faxing process. However, AT&T introduced photo transmission. The photos were of such excellent quality that they were used in the next day’s paper.
The Royal Wedding
In 2011, the big news worldwide was the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton. In the United States alone, more than 20 million people tuned in to watch the royal couple tie the knot in Westminster Abbey. They sent out their wedding invites through fax. Courtiers told the press that faxing was the most efficient way of sending out the invites across the world.
Nearly 26 years ago, Michael Jordan sent perhaps the most famous fax in the history of the NBA and the world of sports. It was short and straight to the point: “I’m back,” it said. At the time, Michael Jordan had retired from the NBA and had tried his luck in baseball for a while. Many avid NBA fans were clamoring for his return, so his fax declaring his return to the Chicago Bulls was welcome news. In fact, if we lived in the era of the internet, his fax would have gone viral and “broke the internet,” as they say. In those days, there was fax-on-demand where the press could easily access breaking news, and that was how news of his return from his 17-month long retirement broke.
With football club Barcelona in turmoil and fans on edge regarding their star’s future, Lionel Messi shocked the football world by announcing his intent to leave the club through a burofax. But why did Messi announce his intent using a burofax? The truth is, he wanted to formally announce his plan with a kind of document that could be legally recognized in court.
The Fax Still Lives On
For over a century, the fax machine dominated the world of communication. While the advent of emails and social media seem to have pushed faxing to the backburner, faxing is still alive and well. In fact, faxing has never been better. Online faxing has become a game changer, making it easier to send messages with enhanced security. You can expect online faxing to get better and more innovative as the years go by.
JR Dominguez is the technology, finance and music editor for MiLLENNiAL. When he's not writing, you can find him day-trading stocks, playing video games, or composing commercial scores.