Faxed: The Rise and Fall of the Fax Machine (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology)

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Faxed: The Rise and Fall of the Fax Machine (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology)

English | 2016 | ISBN: 1421415917, 1421421232, 9781421415918, 9781421421230320 Pages | PDF | 3.88 MB

Faxed is the first history of the facsimile machine-the most famous recent example of a tool made obsolete by relentless technological innovation. Jonathan Coopersmith recounts the multigenerational, multinational history of the device from its origins to its workplace glory days, in the process revealing how it helped create the accelerated communications, information flow, and vibrant visual culture that characterize our contemporary world. Most people assume that the fax machine originated in the computer and electronics revolution of the late twentieth century, but it was actually invented in 1843. Almost 150 years passed between the fax's invention in England and its widespread adoption in tech-savvy Japan, where it still enjoys a surprising popularity. Over and over again, faxing's promise to deliver messages instantaneously paled before easier, less expensive modes of communication: first telegraphy, then radio and television, and finally digitalization in the form of email, the World Wide Web, and cell phones. By 2010, faxing had largely disappeared, having fallen victim to the same technological and economic processes that had created it.

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