The telautograph, an analog precursor to the modern fax machine, transmits electrical impulses recorded by potentiometers at the sending station to servomechanisms attached to a pen at the receiving station, thus reproducing at the receiving station a drawing or signature made by the sender. It was the first such device to transmit drawings to a stationary sheet of paper; previous inventions in Europe had used rotating drums to make such transmissions.
The telautograph's invention is attributed to Elisha Gray, who patented it on July 31, 1888. Gray's patent stated that the telautograph would allow "one to transmit his own handwriting to a distant point over a two-wire circuit." It was the first facsimile machine in which the stylus was controlled by horizontal and vertical bars. The telautograph was first publicly exhibited at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago.
While the patent schema's geometry implies vertical and horizontal coordinates, systems used in the 20th Century (and presumably before) had a different coordinate scheme, based on transmitting two angles.
In an 1888 interview in The Manufacturer & Builder (Vol. 24: No. 4: pages 85–86) Gray made this statement:
By my invention you can sit down in your office in Chicago, take a pencil in your hand, write a message to me, and as your pencil moves, a pencil here in my laboratory moves simultaneously, and forms the same letters and words in the same way. What you write in Chicago is instantly reproduced here in fac-simile. You may write in any language, use a code or cipher, no matter, a fac-simile is produced here. If you want to draw a picture it is the same, the picture is reproduced here. The artist of your newspaper can, by this device, telegraph his pictures of a railway wreck or other occurrences just as a reporter telegraphs his description in words.
By the end of the 19th century, the telautograph was modified by Foster Ritchie. Calling it the telewriter, Ritchie's version of the telautograph could be operated using a telephone line for simultaneous copying and speaking.
The telautograph became very popular for the transmission of signatures over a distance, and in banks and large hospitals to ensure that doctors' orders and patient information were transmitted quickly and accurately. Teleautograph systems were installed in a number of major railroad stations to relay hand-written reports of train movements from the interlocking tower to various parts of the station. [ citation needed ]The teleautograph network in Grand Central Terminal included a public display in the main concourse into the 1960s; a similar setup in Chicago Union Station remained in operation into the 1970s.
A Telautograph was used in 1911 to warn workers on the 10th floor about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that had broken out two floors below. An example of a Telautograph machine writing script can be seen in the 1956 movie Earth vs the Flying Saucers as the output device for the mechanical translator. The 1936 movie, Sinner Take All, shows it being used in an office setting to secretly message instructions to a secretary.
Telautograph Corporation changed its name several times. In 1971, it was acquired by Arden/Mayfair. In 1993, Danka Industries purchased the company and renamed it Danka/Omnifax. In 1999, Xerox corporation purchased the company and called it the Omnifax division, which has since been absorbed by the corporation.
Machines like the Telautograph are still in use today. The Allpoint Pen is currently in use and has been used to register tens of thousands of voters in the United States,and the LongPen, an invention conceived of by writer Margaret Atwood, is used by authors to sign their books at a distance.
Fax, sometimes called telecopying or telefax, is the telephonic transmission of scanned printed material, normally to a telephone number connected to a printer or other output device. The original document is scanned with a fax machine, which processes the contents 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. Early systems used direct conversions of image darkness to audio tone in a continuous or analog manner. Since the 1980s, most machines modulate the transmitted audio frequencies using a digital representation of the page which is compressed to quickly transmit areas which are all-white or all-black.
A telephone is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far apart to be heard directly. A telephone converts sound, typically and most efficiently the human voice, into electronic signals that are transmitted via cables and other communication channels to another telephone which reproduces the sound to the receiving user. The term is derived from Greek: τῆλε and φωνή, together meaning distant voice. A common short form of the term is phone, which came into use almost immediately after the first patent was issued.
A graphics tablet is a computer input device that enables a user to hand-draw images, animations and graphics, with a special pen-like stylus, similar to the way a person draws images with a pencil and paper. These tablets may also be used to capture data or handwritten signatures. It can also be used to trace an image from a piece of paper that is taped or otherwise secured to the tablet surface. Capturing data in this way, by tracing or entering the corners of linear polylines or shapes, is called digitizing.
Elisha Gray was an American electrical engineer who co-founded the Western Electric Manufacturing Company. Gray is best known for his development of a telephone prototype in 1876 in Highland Park, Illinois. Some recent authors have argued that Gray should be considered the true inventor of the telephone because Alexander Graham Bell allegedly stole the idea of the liquid transmitter from him. Although Gray had been using liquid transmitters in his telephone experiments for more than two years previously, Bell's telephone patent was upheld in numerous court decisions.
This timeline of the telephone covers landline, radio, and cellular telephony technologies and provides many important dates in the history of the telephone.
Charles Sumner Tainter was an American scientific instrument maker, engineer and inventor, best known for his collaborations with Alexander Graham Bell, Chichester Bell, Alexander's father-in-law Gardiner Hubbard, and for his significant improvements to Thomas Edison's phonograph, resulting in the Graphophone, one version of which was the first Dictaphone.
The invention of the telephone was the culmination of work done by many individuals, and led to an array of lawsuits relating to the patent claims of several individuals and numerous companies.
Graybar is an American employee-owned corporation, based in Clayton, Missouri. It conducts a wholesale distribution business for electrical, communications and data networking products, and is a provider of related supply-chain management and logistics services. It is included on the Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations.
George H. Sweigert (1920–1999) is credited as the first inventor to patent the cordless telephone.
The Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell controversy concerns the question of whether Gray and Bell invented the telephone independently. This issue is narrower than the question of who deserves credit for inventing the telephone, for which there are several claimants.
This history of the telephone chronicles the development of the electrical telephone, and includes a brief review of its predecessors.
Giovanni Caselli was an Italian priest, inventor, and physicist. He studied electricity and magnetism as a child which led to his invention of the pantelegraph, the forerunner of the fax machine. The world's first practical operating facsimile machine ("fax") system put into use was by Caselli. He had worldwide patents on his system. His technology idea was further developed into today's analog television.
Acoustic telegraphy was a name for various methods of multiplexing telegraph messages simultaneously over a single telegraph wire by using different audio frequencies or channels for each message. A telegrapher used a conventional Morse key to tap out the message in Morse code. The key pulses were transmitted as pulses of a specific audio frequency. At the receiving end a device tuned to the same frequency resonated to the pulses but not to others on the same wire.
A patent caveat, often shortened to caveat, was a legal document filed with the United States Patent Office.
Pen computing refers to any computer user-interface using a pen or stylus and tablet, over input devices such as a keyboard or a mouse.
The LongPen is a remote signing device conceived of by writer Margaret Atwood in 2004 and debuted in 2006. It allows a person to remotely write in ink anywhere in the world via tablet PC and the Internet and a robotic hand. It also allows for an audio and video conversation between the endpoints, such as a fan and author, while a book is being signed.
A Polygraph is a duplicating device that produces a copy of a piece of writing simultaneously with the creation of the original, using pens and ink.
The Telephone Cases, 126 U.S. 1 (1888), were a series of US court cases in the 1870s and the 1880s related to the invention of the telephone, which culminated in the 1888 decision of the US Supreme Court upholding the priority of the patents belonging to Alexander Graham Bell. Those telephone patents were relied on by the American Bell Telephone Company and the Bell System although they had also acquired critical microphone patents from Emile Berliner.
Eversharp is an American brand of writing implements founded by Charles Rood Keeran in 1913 and marketed by Keeran & Co., based in Chicago. Keeran commercialised Eversharp mechanical pencils, then expanding to fountain pens when the company was acquired by the Wahl Adding Machine Co. in 1916 and it was named "Wahl-Eversharp". The company continued until 1957 when it was acquired by Parker Pen, which continued to use the Eversharp brand for a time.
The United States provided many inventions in the time from the Colonial Period to the Gilded Age, which were achieved by inventors who were either native-born or naturalized citizens of the United States. Copyright protection secures a person's right to his or her first-to-invent claim of the original invention in question, highlighted in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, which gives the following enumerated power to the United States Congress:
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.
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