Saturday, August 22, 2009

Modest progress

The fax made progress nevertheless. Dr Arthur Korn, a German scientist, invented the principle of photoelectric reading in 1902. By 1910 newspapers were regularly sending and receiving pictures between major cities in Europe. In 1922, Dr Korn managed to transmit images between Europe and the U.S. by radio. In the U.S. of the Roaring Twenties, the fax was expected to become a common household appliance and millions of dollars were spent on developing it. However, the anticipated breakthrough did not occur, and it was not until the 1960s that the fax machine spread from the offices of the leading newspapers to become a familiar item of equipment in other business sectors.Electronics companies, meanwhile, were preoccupied with other, seemingly more glamorous, inventions, such as television, and it was some time before fax machines became mutually compatible and reasonably priced. In 1970, there were no more than 50,000 facsimile machines in the entire USA. But by 1948, the AT&T fax system could be incorporated in a desktop fax and transmit a 15 x 20 cm photograph in seven minutes.

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