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Die, fax machine, die!

Marc Perton
bain telegraph fax

If there's one piece of office equipment we'd gladly show the door, it's the fax machine. Let's face it: the technology hasn't changed a whole lot since Alexander Bain patented the first fax machine in 1843 (OK, they did get rid of that slimy paper). Yet, despite the growth of e-mail, cellphones, voicemail and Blackberrys — not to mention fax spam — fax machines continue to waste space and paper in most offices. The New York Times reports that some 1.5 million fax machines were sold in the U.S. last year — not including multifunction boxes that fax, scan and print. The newspaper points to low prices, perceived security and legal needs (such as signature requirements) as reasons the ancient technology has stayed in use so long. As long as it's not retro-chic. Pokias we can live with; faxes becoming hip would be just too much to bear.

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