FAX Communications

Lead: In one of its earliest forms, the facsimile, known today as the FAX, was an experimental newspaper, delivered by high frequency radio broadcasts.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: By the 1920s radio transmission of newspaper photos was a regular part of print journalism, but the process was of restricted value because it made use of expensive photographic paper that had to be chemically developed. One inventor, a transplanted Brit, William George Harold Finch, wanted to take the idea a step further. He developed a process that used radio waves to transmit written words and pictures to a home receiver similar to an AM radio. The printer was very slow and produced results that were rather crude by current standards, but the idea was so intriguing that several big-city newspaper papers, such as the St. Louis Times-Dispatch, began experimenting with Finch’s equipment and that of his rival John Hogan. Perhaps this was a defensive tactic. Newspapers were a print medium and their publishers had convinced themselves that radio and its infant cousin television, were too transitory to be satisfactory. They believed that people wanted their news in tangible form.

 

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