Method of transmitting images, often of documents / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Fax (short for facsimile), sometimes called telecopying or telefax (the latter short for telefacsimile), is the telephonic transmission of scanned printed material (both text and images), normally to a telephone number connected to a printer or other output device. The original document is scanned with a fax machine (or a telecopier), which processes the contents (text or images) as a single fixed graphic image, converting it into a bitmap, and then transmitting it through the telephone system in the form of audio-frequency tones. The receiving fax machine interprets the tones and reconstructs the image, printing a paper copy.[1] Early systems used direct conversions of image darkness to audio tone in a continuous or analog manner. Since the 1980s, most machines transmit an audio-encoded digital representation of the page, using data compression to more quickly transmit areas that are all-white or all-black.

This fax machine from 1999 used relatively new inkjet printing.
Like many fax machines, this 1990 model used thermal printing on relatively expensive thermal paper.

Fax machines were ubiquitous in offices in the 1980s and 1990s, but have gradually been rendered obsolete by Internet-based technologies such as email and the World Wide Web. They remain particularly popular in medical administration and law enforcement.[2]