Panasonic 'UF 800' fax machine, 1985.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Fax (or facsimile) machines transmit text and images to a remote addres by scanning areas of light and shade on a page. The first fascimile machine was developed shortly after the printed telegraph by the Scottish clockmaker Alexander Bain (1810-1877) in 1842. The central principle in facsimile technology which distinguished it from printed telegraphy was that the text was scanned. The Japanese company, Panasonic, developed their first office-use facsimile machine in 1946 and continue to be one of the main producers of fax machines today.