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Who invented the photocopy machine

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fax machine line sharing device

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History of the Fax Machine

Fax MachineEven though the use of the fax machine to transmit images via telephone lines did not become common in American businesses until the late 1980s, the technology dates back to the nineteenth century. Facsimile is today's fastest-growing area of office automation and business communication. To the nontechnical observer, the fax machine seems to send a photocopy to another fax machine over the telephone lines: you dial a number, place the pages you want to send in the machine, press "start," and off they go, at less than a minute a page.

Alexander Bain (1818-1903) devised an apparatus comprised of two pens connected to two pendulums, which in turn were joined to a wire, that was able to reproduce writing on an electrically conductive surface. Bain, a Scottish clockmaker from Edenbugh who was staying in England at that time, used clock mechanisms to transfer an image from one sheet of electrically conductive paper to another. In 1843, Bain received a British patent for “improvements in producing and regulating electric currents and improvements in timepieces and in electric printing and signal telegraphs”, in laymen's terms a fax machine. At that time, Bain patented the "automatic electrochemical recording telegraph" also known as the "chemical telegraph", which bears his name. Various machines using Bain's technology have been in use for many years.

He recognised that the Morse and other telegraph instruments in use were comparatively slow in speed, owing to the mechanical inertia of the parts; and he saw that if the signal currents were made to pass through a band of travelling paper soaked in a solution which would decompose under their action, and leave a legible mark, a very high speed could be obtained. This process was later modified to create the first facsimilie.

In England, the telegraph of Bain was used on the lines of the old Electric Telegraph Company to a limited extent, and in America about the year 1850 it was taken up by the energetic Mr. Henry O'Reilly, and widely introduced. But it incurred the hostility of Morse, who obtained an injunction against it on the slender ground that the running paper and alphabet used were covered by his patent.

In 1850, a London inventor named F. C. Blakewell received a patent what he called a "copying telegraph".

By 1859, there was only one line in America on which the Bain system was in use, namely, that from Boston to Montreal. Since those days of rivalry the apparatus has never become general, and it is not easy to understand why, considering its very high speed, the chemical telegraph has not become a greater favourite.

In 1862, the Italian physicist Giovanni Caselli built a machine he called a pantelegraph (implying a hybrid of pantograph and telegraph), which was based on Bain’s invention but also included a synchronizing apparatus. The Pantelegraph sent its first fax between Paris and Lyon. Caselli's pantelegraph was used by the French Post & Telegraph agency between Paris and Marseilles from 1856 to 1870.

Elisha Gray (1835-1901), American inventor, born in Barnesville, Ohio invented and patented many electrical devices, including a facsimile transmission system. He also organized a company that later became the Western Electric Company.

In 1876 Elisha Gray filed an unsuccessful claim for the invention of the telephone, just hours after American inventor Alexander Graham Bell filed his successful patent for its invention.
Telefacsimile (tel’a-fak-sim -ie) machines (telefax or fax).

In 1895, a watchmaker from St. Paul, Minnesota named Ernest Hummel invented his competing device called the Telediagraph.

In 1902, Arthur Korn (1870-1945) in Germany invented telephotography, a means for manually breaking down and transmitting still photographs by means of electrical wires. In 1907, Korn sent the first inter-city fax when he transmitted a photograph from Munich to Berlin. Dr Arthur Korn's improved and practical fax was called the the "photoelectric system".

In 1914, Edouard Belin established the concept for remote fax photo/news reporting.

Between 1920 and 1923 the American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T) worked on telephone facsimile technology, and in 1924 the telephotography machine was used to send pictures from political conventions in Cleveland, Ohio, and Chicago to New York City for publication in newspapers.

In 1925, Edouard Belin (1876-1963) in France constructed the Belinograph. His invention involved placing an image on a cylinder and scanning it with a powerful light beam that had a photoelectric cell which could convert light, or the absence of light, into transmittable electrical impulses. The Belinograph process used the basic principle upon which all subsequent facsimile transmission machines would be based.

In 1926, RCA invented the Radiophoto that faxed by using radio broadcasting technology

In 1934 the Associated Press began to use "wirephoto" to transmit photographs. But then television brought a news revolution--people could see live or same-day footage of events rather than one or two photographs.

In 1947, Alexander Muirhead invented a very successful fax machine.

On March 4, 1955, the first radio facsimile transmission was sent across the continent. 

For many years, facsimile machines remained cumbersome, expensive and difficult to operate, but in 1964, the Xerox Corporation introduced Long Distance Xerography (LDX).

Then in 1966 Xerox introduced the Magnafax Telecopier, a smaller, 46-pound facsimile machine that was easier to use and could be connected to any telephone line. Using this machine, a letter-sized document took about six minutes to transmit. The process was slow, but it represented a major technological step.

In the late 1970s, Japanese companies entered the market, and soon a new generation of faster, smaller and more efficient fax machines became available.

Between 1973 and 1983, the number of fax machines in the United States increased from 30,000 to 300,000, but by 1989 the number had jumped to four million.

By the late 1980s, compact fax machines had revolutionized everyday communications around the world.

Only recently has "fax" become a household word. The current facsimile revolution has come about because of digital technology (the same technology that lets us play video games), which has increased the speed, compactness, and reliability of the machines, as well as brought down prices. And, like Sholes's typewriter, this technology has found its real market in the business world, where efficiency and fast communication have been necessary since the days of the railroads.

Fax machines make it possible to send anything that can be printed on a page to anywhere in the world in not much more time than it would take to hand the page to someone across the top of your desk.

Facsimile Transmission, or fax, communications system for the electrical transmission of printed material, photographs, or drawings. Facsimile transmission is accomplished by radio, telephone, or undersea cable.

The essential parts of a fax system are a transmitting device that translates the graphic material into electrical impulses according to a set pattern, and a synchronized receiving device that retranslates these impulses and prints a facsimile copy.

In a typical system the fax scanner consists of a rotating cylinder, a source projecting a narrow beam of light, and a photoelectric cell. The copy to be transmitted is wrapped around the cylinder and is scanned by the light beam, which moves along the cylinder as it revolves.

The output of the photoelectric cell is amplified and transmitted to the receiving end, where a similar cylinder, covered with specially impregnated paper, revolves in synchronism with the transmitting cylinder. A light of varying intensity moves along the rotation cylinder and darkens the paper by chemically reproducing the pattern of the original.

What is a FAX?
The transmission of photographs, drawings, maps, and written or printed words by electric signals. Light waves reflected from an image are converted into electric signals, transmitted by wire or radio to a distant receiver, and reconstituted on paper or film into a copy of the original.

Facsimile is used by news services to send news and photos to newspapers and television stations, by banks, airlines, and railroads to transmit the content of documents, and by many other businesses as an aid in data handling and record keeping. Facsimile systems involve optical scanning, signal encoding, modulation, signal transmission, demodulation, decoding, and copy making.

What is Scanning?
Scanning is done in a manner similar to that used in television. An original, a photo for example, is illuminated and systematically examined in small adjacent areas called pixels (picture elements). Light reflected from each pixel is converted into electric current by an electronic device, a photocell, photodiode, or charge-coupled device (CCD).

A single such device may be used to cover one pixel after another in a row, row after row from top to bottom until the entire image has been translated into electric impulses. This is rectilinear scanning. Scanning may also be done a row at a time by a battery of devices; this is array scanning. In multispot scanning, a vertical array of photodevices moves across the image, examining the pixels column by column. As the array passes down the copy, it produces a set of current pulses from each photodevice. The separate currents, however produced, are then transmitted successively over a single circuit to the distant receiver.

To secure fine detail in the reproduced image it is necessary to use very small pixels. In one standard, Group 3 of the International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee ( CCITT ), each pixel is a rectangle 0.12 by 0.13 mm ( 1 inch=25.4 mm ). On this standard, subject copy measuring 8 by 11 inches ( 20 x 28 cm ) is divided into 3.6 million pixels.

This compares with about 200,000 pixels for televised images. The pixels used in high-resolution facsimile systems have dimensions one-fifth those of the CCITT standard mentioned above, whereas in low-definition systems the dimensions may be twice as great.

The image may be illuminated as in rectilinear scanning, or a relatively large area of the image may be illuminated, the photodevice viewing the image through a lens aperture that restricts its field to a single pixel at a time.

In a commonly used facsimile scanning system ( invented by Frederick Bakewell in 1848 and based on Alexander Bain's work of 1842 ) the subject copy is wrapped around a drum. A finely focused spot of light falls on the copy and the light reflected from that pixel is picked up by the photodevice.

The drum is rotated so that the light spot traces a line across the copy, examining each pixel in turn. As the drum rotates, the light source is moved slowly on a carriage parallel to the drum axis, tracing out a spiral of adjacent lines until the entire area of the copy has been scanned. At least once in each rotation of the drum a signal transmitted to the recorder keeps the scanner and the recorder in step.

In drum scanning, the copy may also be illuminated broadly and examined by a photodevice fitted with a lens aperture. Copy cannot always be conveniently wrapped around a drum. In such cases, flat copy may be scanned by a spot of light directed across its surface by a moving mirror. Mirror scanning may also be used when the copy is wrapped on a drum, or while it is being pulled from a roller. Laser light produces a very fine beam that travels across the copy, row by row, as the copy moves vertically.

In one arrangement the mirror is rocked back and forth, moving the beam across the copy. In another, a rotating polygonal mirror is used. This mirror typically has 18 flat mirror surfaces on its periphery, each capable of scanning a row of pixels.

Very fast scanning can be achieved by rapid rotation of the mirror and corresponding vertical motion of the copy. The beam is reflected from each pixel into a photodevice that converts successive light values into corresponding currents. Electronic scanning of flat copy may also be done by arrays of photodiodes or charge-coupled devices.

For scanning rates higher than about 6 rows per second laser beams with polygonal mirrors and arrays of photodevices are favored. Facsimile (Fax) is a method of encoding data, transmitting it over the telephone lines or radio broadcast, and receiving hard (text) copy, line drawings, or photographs.

Fax SwitchWhat is a fax switch?
A device that tests a phone line for a fax signal and routes the call to the fax machine. When a fax machine dials a number and the line answers, it emits an 1100Hz signal (CNG tone) to identify itself. Some devices handle voice, fax and data modem switching and may require keying in an extension number to switch to the modem. A quality fax switch automatically routes voice, fax, and modem telephone calls to the right equipment every time, eliminating the need for costly dedicated lines.



Business quality Single Line Automatic Call Processor. Perfect line sharing device for your small or home business. Automatically routes calls to the right device every time! Use up to three telecommunication devices plus an answering machine on one single phone line.This is our most popular fax switch. .

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Two-line Voice/Fax/Modem/Data call processor. If you use two lines in your home or business, this two-line automatic phone fax switch is what you are looking for. The only two-line Automatic Call Processor that actually turns your existing inside phone wires into a mini-network. Never worry about busy signals or missed faxes when on the Internet again. Click here to find out more.

Unique Features include:
• Call In/Dial Out Long Distance Saver
(call into it from your cell phone to make cheaper long distance calls)
• Port-to-Port Communication and Data Transfer

(works like a network over your existing phone lines.)
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The TeleVoIP Stick™ is a revolutionary residential VoIP communication system that allows the user to access Voice over Internet Protocol technology with their existing phone equipment.

Unique Features include:
• Lets you add VoIP to existing home phones
(You can use your regular phones like normal with Free Internet Phone Services)
• Provides Reliable Emergency 911 Service

(Automatically selects your land line when you dial 911 for Emergency)
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- Distinctive Ringing Call Processors

The Selective Ring call processor for distinctive ring service. Only ring the device intended for that call. Just call its phone number and it rings. Instead of having one phone number for 2 or 3 devices, you have 2 or 3 phone numbers and only pay for one phone line.

Each device has its own phone number. Works great with phone company call forwarding (forward your voice calls to your cell phone) and TDD devices too. Have a dedicated fax number, dedicated voice number and/or dedicated modem number (or a personal number) sharing your single line.

Choose from 2 or 3 distinctive ring phone numbers but pay for only one phone line plus "distinctive ring" for up to two additional numbers.
SR-2 (Two Devices - Two Phone Numbers)
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SR-3 (Three Devices - Two or Three Phone Numbers)
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An Industrial Grade Automatic Call Processor eliminates dedicated phone lines by expanding the number of devices you can connect to a single line. Use the Polnet for modems, data and credit card terminals, storage and monitor systems, and more! This Modem Sharing Device has special polling features and interfaces with an rj-31x jack used for larger phone systems. Able to poll multiple devices (modems) in a single call. Typically used in multiple location (store) applications.
ACP-3 (Three Devices) -
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ACP-5 (Five Devices) -
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ACP-9 (Nine Devices) -
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- Industrial Grade Call Processors

Offering two models that, in addition to functionality similar to (voice/fax/modem call processor), dtmf and cng tone recognition, DIP switch programmability, phone line surge protection, remote diagnostics and an internal busy signal. Highest quality automatic call processor on the market after more than 20 years! Ultimate in reliability and dependability.

ATX-250 (Two Devices) In addition to tone detection, the can process distinctive ring detection. Super Ring Voltage. For heavy duty applications.
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ATX-300 (Three Devices) 3 device (plus an answering machine) Automatic Call Processor designed for ultimate reliability. This is the Product that made us famous. Industry leader for more than 20 years.

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Rack Mounted 4/12 Automatic Distinctive Ringing Processor Processor eliminates dedicated phone lines by expanding the number of devices to twelve on up to 4 phone lines. Either have up to 12 unique phone numbers on 4 lines using your local phone companies distinctive ringing service or up to 1-4 incoming phone numbers on 1-4 lines with up to 12 outgoing devices without ordering distinctive ringing. You get up to 3 incoming phone numbers on each phone line and it hunts for an open line on outgoing calls so you never get a busy signal.

Use the Line Hunter for private phone numbers, business numbers, personal numbers, modems, data and credit card terminals, storage and monitor systems, and more!

Line Hunter (Up to 12 phone numbers on up to 4 phone lines)
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The TeleVoIP Stick™ is a revolutionary residential VoIP communication system that allows the user to access Voice over Internet Protocol technology with their existing phone equipment.

Unique Features include:
• Lets you add VoIP to existing home phones
(You can use your regular phones like normal with Free Internet Phone Services)
• Provides Reliable Emergency 911 Service

(Automatically selects your land line when you dial 911 for Emergency)
  Your Price only 9.00 Delivered


The TeleVoIP Phone is the second generation of telephone handsets for computers, specifically designed for home / SOHO users of Internet telephony. Feature-rich and yet affordable! It connects to the PC’s sound card and allows the external PC-speakers to be re-connected.


Unique Features include:
• Works with all IP telephony, voice or sound application
(It is a regular phone for use with any Free Internet Phone Services)
• Easy to install and to operate

(Just plug it in and you are ready to communicate over VoIP technology)
  Your Price only .00 Delivered


The Perfectel Phone is specifically designed for notebook, laptop and portable computer users. And with it’s small, compact size, you can take it anywhere you use your laptop and a Wi-Fi connection. The Perfectel Phone works with any VoIP Service and is certified by which lets you make free calls over the Internet.


Unique Features include:
• Small Compact Design
(Ideal for portable and notebook PCs)
• Works with all IP telephony, voice or sound application
(It is a regular phone for use with any Free Internet Phone Services)
• Easy to install and to operate

(Just plug it in and you are ready to communicate over VoIP technology)
  Your Price only .00 Delivered

® - Phone controlled and secure power on/off switch for your computer.

A call-activated AC power controller. Reboot and power up/down off-site computers and other devices by phone.
Power up/down your computer from any phone in the world.

Your Price only 9.00 Delivered

® - Internet controlled and secure power on/off switch for your computer.

The IPS provides various methods of initiating an AC power reset to meet any requirement for complete in and out-of-band network control. By Telephone: The basic reboot function involves an incoming POTS line and a connected AC device.  By Heartbeat: The IPS can work with heartbeat software that will automatically reboot a computer when a problem occurs. By Web-browser: The IPS can be controlled by a master control unit that is accessible via the internet. Self Sensing Power Technology for either 110 or 220 power (works worldwide).

Your Price only 9.00 Delivered

® - Internet Controller for Internet Power Stone (above).

The ICM is a web based network manager used to control any of Multi-Link’s power control base units.The ICM connects to a web-based network like any other IP network device and acts like a mini-website, accessible via any web browser.  Base units for reset or AC power control can be located as far as 2,000ft away from the ICM network power manager.

Your Price only 9.00 Delivered

Note: All prices include shipping and handling in the US and most of Canada. We reserve the right to charge up to the actual price of shipping on all orders outside the continental United States. All orders shipped UPS Ground unless specified. For air and express shipments, appropriate charges will be applied to your order.

"Why should I buy a high quality fax machine line sharing device from faxswitch.com rather than a cheaper one?"
Short Answer: Good question! The reason is the quality. The old adage "you get what you pay for" is especially true in this business. Your phone system has to work day in and day out for the life of your business. Our high quality fax machine line sharing devices are the type you can depend on. If your phone system is down one day, that's one day to many. You easily pay for the small difference in cost with the monthly savings from your phone bills.

Long Answer: One of the main problems with fax machine line sharing devices (and all computers) is system failure. You may have experienced it on your PC when it "locks up" and you have to "reboot" your computer to get it going again. fax machine line sharing devices are basically small computers and the same thing happens only it sounds like you are not home (or answering your phone anyway) in other words the phone sounds like it's ringing to the caller but you hear nothing. To the calling party it just rings and rings. On your end, you hear nothing. Someone has to come by or call you on another line and say "hey why aren't you answering your phone?" and you say, "Oh! it's that cheap fax machine line sharing device again. Let me go turn it off and back on." It will work for a while but eventually it will happen again. Very frustrating and not very good for business.

Rest assured that this will never happen with any of our equipment. We invented "watchdog®" circuitry and other features so this would never happen. What "watchdog®" circuitry does, is constantly monitor your phone line. If there is ever a system failure (and eventually there always is) the box is smart enough to know it and reboots itself. It takes less than a second and your phones always work. This is only one example of some of the "extra features" we include to make our products truly "business quality." We know your business is worth it.

How much is a fax machine line sharing device worth to you?

What's it worth to your BOTTOM LINE to eliminate 1 phone line? Monthly Line Cost 1st Year Cost/Savings 3rd Year Cost/Savings 5th Year Cost/Savings 10th Year Cost/Savings $ 20.00 $ 240.00 $ 720.00 $ 1200.00 $ 2400.00 $ 30.00 $ 360.00 $ 1080.00 $ 1800.00 $ 3600.00 $ 40.00 $ 480.00 $ 1440.00 $ 2400.00 $ 4800.00 $ 50.00 $ 600.00 $ 1800.00 $ 3000.00 $ 6000.00 $ 60.00 $ 720.00 $ 2160.00 $ 3600.00 $ 7200.00


What's eliminating 2 phone lines worth to your BOTTOM LINE? Monthly Line Cost 1st Year Cost/Savings 3rd Year Cost/Savings 5th Year Cost/Savings 10th Year Cost/Savings $ 20.00 $ 480.00 $ 1440.00 $ 2400.00 $ 4800.00 $ 30.00 $ 720.00 $ 2160.00 $ 3600.00 $ 7200.00 $ 40.00 $ 960.00 $ 2880.00 $ 4800.00 $ 9600.00 $ 50.00 $ 1200.00 $ 3600.00 $ 6000.00 $ 12000.00 $ 60.00 $ 1440.00 $ 4320.00 $ 7200.00 $ 14400.00

Need Help choosing a fax machine line sharing device?

All products are made in the USA.

We take all major credit cards

Call toll free (866) 337-0965 with your questions or to order by phone.

fax machine line sharing device


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