Ten Fascinating Facts About Faxing

2 Mins read

Faxing is not an ancient relic. If anything, it is one of the most innovative tools of communication ever invented. Over the years, several individuals and organizations have used faxing for different purposes. Here are some facts about faxing that might fascinate you:

Faxing Was Invented Centuries Ago

The history of faxing is a long and storied one. Alexander Bain sent an image over fax – in 1843. Yep, you read that right. That means faxing has been around for close to 200 years. That’s long before the telephone saw the light of day. 

Faxing Was Invented by a Physicist and Clockmaker

Alexander Bain is widely regarded as the father of faxing. It was known then by some as the “Electric Printing Telegraph.” Other inventors like Frederick Bakewell and Giovanni Caselly improved the invention with their own additions. In the 1900s, Xerox took over and fashioned it into the fax machine we know today. 

The First Cable Fax System

The year was 1924, and a company known as AT&T was making waves. They had invented and set up the first fax cable system which ran between London and New York. Since then, there have been millions of faxes sent and received. 

Yes, It Is Short For ‘Facsimile’

Fax is a contracted form of the word facsimile. It is also sometimes referred to as telecopying. Faxing involves sending a scanned copy of content – images and text – from one place to another. 

If you’re a vocabulary guru, you’ll remember that facsimile refers to “making an exact copy of written or printed material.”

Fax Machines Are Cheaper Now

In 1982, you’d have had to fork out $20,000 to purchase a fax machine. Now, it’s a different story. With $1,000, you can get a fax machine that can do the job.

It Is One of the Most Secure Ways of Communication

When it comes to enhanced security in communication, you may not do much better than a fax machine. In a season where data breaches are all-too-common, fax machines provide a safe means of communication without fear of data being compromised. Little wonder top government agencies, such as the CIA, still swear by fax machines.

You Can Fax Online

The virtual world has come in leaps and bounds and faxing has not been left out. There are exceptionally popular faxing services that allow you to send fax right from your phone, laptop or tablet. You can add electronic signatures to your fax to give it authentication. These faxes are often joined with cloud services such as Google Drive and Dropbox, making it easier to organize and share files. 

You Can Send a Fax in Under Two Seconds

1.7 seconds, to be exact. That’s the time it takes to send a single page of fax today. To put it in perspective, you would need to wait 6 minutes to send a fax in the 1920s, and it took 3 minutes to send one in the 1970s. 

The Technology is Popular Across the World

If you’re looking to be a global business, faxing is a necessity. In places like Russia, Japan, England, and Korea, faxing is thriving. In fact, in Japan faxing is so common that almost all businesses have one or more fax machines. Even individuals also have these devices. So, if your business is looking to penetrate such markets, you can’t ignore faxing. 

Faxing is Actually Growing

While it was invented close to 200 years ago, it is not declining in usage. According to a survey by the IDC, faxing is expected to grow by 25% year on year.


Well, there you have it. You’ve explored ten interesting facts about faxing. Next time anyone comes up with faxing myths, you’ll know exactly what to say. And if you were just looking for information on fax machines, you should be sated by now.