Are Business Faxes Becoming the Thing of the Past?

Business Fax
Dixie's Fax Machine

Dixie’s answer is not just yet! Some of you would probably think that fax machines are becoming obsolete and are going to be dumped the way typewriters have been. Dixie wouldn’t argue that businesses slowly get rid of their fax machines as a result of the development of faxing via computer technologies and even of the regular email, but fax as a piece of business correspondence still holds its honorable place in the office. And will for at least some time.

We'll Keep Faxes for a While

A lot of offices are not in a hurry to get rid of their fax machines either... due, Dixie thinks, primarily to the following reasons:

Is Sending a Fax Easy?

Do you know how to send a fax using a simple fax machine? Dixie still remembers her first job in the office. Everybody presumed that anyone could send a fax and never explained to her how to do it... And she wanted so much to look savvy and sophisticated that asking for help was out of the question! Dixie admits, it was not the easiest time! So, if you are interested Dixie recommends the video below...

Basic Facts about Faxes

We like shortening longer words, and the word 'fax' is a short form as all of you probably know. Dixie has always been fascinated by the long form, facsimile which in Latin means 'make similar'. Dixie couldn't explain why, but she really likes the sound of it. Well, this form is not very widely spread anymore, so maybe that's the part of the attraction.

The fax as a piece of business correspondence is a paper document created as a result of the transmission of written or printed words, photographs, drawings or maps by electric signals. Faxing involves optical scanning, signal encoding, modulation, signal transmission, demodulation, decoding and copy making. Well, Dixie doesn't really want to go into any more detail. Who would blame her?

The fax scanning system was invented by Frederick Bakewell in 1848 based on Alexander Bain's work of 1842 and 1843 when he patented the first fax machine. Did you at least suspect that faxing technology is that old, Dixie wonders? So it looks like faxes appeared before memos.

On the other hand, faxes were not as common in the business world for quite some time. Only companies with a serious need to communicate drawings, design sketches or signed documents between distant locations such as an office and factory could afford a pair of expensive and bulky fax machines up to the 1980s. And then the number of fax machines in use went from 300,000 to 4,000,000 between 1983 and 1989.

Those were the times when faxes became a regular type of business correspondence. From then on it was almost impossible to imagine an office without a fax machine receiving faxes most of the time. And then email invaded the office and look what it’s doing to the faxes…

Well, Dixie can’t say she is sorry. Life wouldn’t be itself if it didn’t change and evolve constantly. And business correspondence tries to keep pace.

Related Topic

Fax Cover Sheet

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