How Fax Machines Work

Fax machines allows you to transmit documents. See more computer accessory pictures.

You can walk into nearly any office in the United States today, big or small, hi-tech or lo-tech, and you'll find a fax machine. Connected to a normal phone line, a fax machine allows you to transmit pieces of paper to someone else instantly! Even with FedEx and e-mail, it is nearly impossible to do business ­without one of these machines today.

Fax machines have been around in one form or another for more than a century -- Alexander Bain patented the first fax design in 1843 (see Science Line: Alexander Bain & the Fax Machine to learn more). If you look back at some of the early designs, you can get a very good idea of how they work today.

In this article, you'll learn how fax machines work. See the next page to get started.