'Sending a message by telautograph', 1894.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Pen and ink drawing by A S Hartrick, showing a man using the telautograph which was invented and named by Professor Elisha Gray (1835-1901) in 1891 and shown at the Chicago Exhibition, USA. The apparatus was exhibited at a conversazione of the Royal Society, London in June 1894. While most people consider the fax machine a modern invention, its use over telegraph wires started with the invention for the telautograph, a machine which transmitted and received handwritten messages. The telautograph featured in this drawing is both a transmitter and receiver; by the 1930s these had evolved into separate units.