Request Inspection Copy

If you are an Academic or Teacher and wish to consider this book as a prescribed textbook for your course, you may be eligible for a complimentary inspection copy. Please complete this form, including information about your position, campus and course, before adding to cart.

* Required Fields

To complete your Inspection Copy Request you will need to click the Checkout button in the right margin and complete the checkout formalities. You can include Inspection Copies and purchased items in the same shopping cart, see our Inspection Copy terms for further information.

Any Questions? Please email our text Support Team on text@footprint.com.au

Submit

Email this to a friend

* ALL required Fields

Order Inspection Copy

An inspection copy has been added to your shopping cart

Faxed: The Rise and Fall of the Fax Machine

by Jonathan Coopersmith Johns Hopkins University Press
Pub Date:
10/2016
ISBN:
9781421421230
Format:
Pbk 320 pages
Price:
AU$66.00 NZ$68.70
Product Status: Title is Print on Demand - May take 4 weeks
add to your cart

Other Available Formats:

 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.


 


Based on archival research and interviews spanning two centuries and three continents, Coopersmith’s book recovers the lost history of a once-ubiquitous technology. Written in accessible language that should appeal to engineers and policymakers as well as historians,  Faxed explores themes of technology push and market pull, user-based innovation, and "blackboxing" (the packaging of complex skills and technologies into packages designed for novices) while revealing the inventions inspired by the fax, how the demand for fax machines eventually caught up with their availability, and why subsequent shifts in user preferences rendered them mostly passé.


 

Preface
Abbreviations
Introduction
1. First Patent to First World War, 1843–1918
2. First Markets, 1918–1939
3. Facsimile, 1939–1965
4. The Sleeping Giant Stirs, 1965–1980
5. The Giant Awakes, 1980–1995
6. The Fax and the Computer
Conclusion
Notes
Essay on Sources
Index

"... This work is meticulously researched and the information astutely synthesized. Those with a strong interest in the history of technology will be richly rewarded."

Jonathan Coopersmith is an assistant professor of history at Texas A&M University. He is the author of The Electrification of Russia, 1880–1926, and the coeditor of Taking Off: A Century of Manned Flight.