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Fascinating facsimile

06/08/2012

These pictures come from 1948 – predating the internet by some 50 years. Fascinating in its own way since the author (then editor of the Southern Daily Echo of Southampton, UK) believed this was the future. Indeed, in the US, it already was. Even colour pages could be transmitted over radio waves.

The author writes that facsimile ‘could skip all the time-wasting gaps which exist between the actual printing of a newspaper and its delivery in the home. It can take the printing press into the home, as it were, and cut out all the intervening routine of transport and delivery’. How much like the internet.

Except you would need a cabinet (wood veneer of course) and to wait 48 minutes for a six page facsimile of the paper to be ‘downloaded’. In its own way, in its own time, the facsimile was the way of the future.

(Why did this technology develop? The war stupid. ‘From 1939 onwards special war needs in the sphere of telecommunications greatly accelerated progress. One American organisation has declared that its war work telescoped one hundred years of practical experience into three.’

This blog attributes the photos from The Adventure Ahead, 1948, Contact Publications Ltd, London.

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