RetroTech: The Fax Machine

[Thank you for the immense response we had on LinkedIn about fax machines! Whilst this article is a love letter to fax machines (we make no apologies) we will be taking a much more in depth look at the prevalence of fax machines in industry in a follow-up piece over the next month.]

We often hear that fax machines are on their way out, yet they’ve been on their way out for some time now and still not left the office.

For their resilience in the face of rampant progress alone, we salute you fax machines, even if we don’t know how to use one. But who does right? Quite a lot of people, as we found out.

Who still sends faxes?

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Famous faxes from history

The humble fax has a powerful past and played its part in many famous moments in history such as basketball legend Michael Jordan announcing his comeback in 1995 via a two-word fax: “I’m back.”

Check out the lovely infographic below about other famous faxes from history:

Static On the Line: Famous Faxes
Static On the Line: Famous Faxes was created by MetroFax Blog

3 advantages of fax machines (maybe, probably not)

  • Security: There is a perception that sending a fax over phone lines is more secure than sending an email. The argument for this being safer than an email is all very technical and Legal Geek is not about to put on rubber gloves and delve into it – but we’d love you to if this is your area (email us at [email protected] and we will include more thoughts on this in a follow-up article).
  • Reputation: Given the stubborn resistance of the fax machine across industries and jurisdictions, you just never know when your next client is going to ask for your fax number. Being able to play the fax game won’t make you look out of touch in their eyes, it will make you look prepared and professional.
  • Receipt confirmation: Email read receipts are irritating and easy to decline but once a fax has been received, a confirmation receipt can be requested and received by the sender.

Fax machines in the movies

How to play a prank using a fax machine from the American Office:

Smashing up a fax machine from In The Loop: