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TelautographThe telautograph is an analog precursor to the modern fax machine. Basically it transmits electrical impulses recorded by potentiometers to step motors attached to a pen, thus being able to reproduce a drawing or signature made by the sender at the receiver's station. It was the first such device to transmit drawings to a stationary sheet of paper, previous inventions in Europe used rotating drums to make such transmissions.
Its invention is attributed to Elisha Gray who is said to have invented the telautograph in 1888. Descendants of Alexander Graham Bell state that Bell submitted a patent for an earlier version of the telautograph in 1875. Gray's patent stated that the telautograph would allow "one to transmit his own handwriting to a distant point over a two-wire circuit". Gray was also famous for having submitted his patent application several hours after Bell had submitted his application for the telephone. It was first publicly exhibited at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.
'' An early telautograph, circa 1880s.
As Professor Gray stated in an interview in The Manufacturer & Builder, Vol. 24 No. 4 (1888) at pages 85-6:
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