The Invention of the Fax Machine

IQ Challenge

Fax Machine Question

When was the first fax machine invented?

A. 1846
B. 1946
C. 1963

Fax Machine Answer: 1846

The first fax machine was invented by clockmaker Alexandar Bain in 1846 (no, not a typo). Inventors Frederick Bakewell and Giovanni Caselli both improved upon Bain's concept in 1851 and 1861, respectively. Who would have thought that the fax machine pre-dated the invention of the telephone?

According to Wikipedia, Bain used a clock to synchronize the movement of two pendulums for line-by-line scanning of a message. For transmission, he applied metal pins arranged on a cylinder made of insulating material and an electric probe that transmitted on-off pulses scanned the pins. The message was reproduced at the receiving station on electrochemically sensitive paper impregnated with a chemical solution similar to that developed for a chemical telegraph.