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Alexander Bain, Scottish inventor

Alexander Bain, Scottish inventor

H402/0237

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Alexander Bain. Portrait of Alexander Bain (1810- 77), Scottish inventor of the electric clock and facsimile transmission (fax machine). A clockmaker by trade, Bain grew interested in electricity and in 1841 he patented the first electric clock. Bain also devised a system which used electricity to keep several 'slave' clocks synchronised with the pendulum of a 'master' clock. However, Bain earnt most of his income through his telegraphy patents. His use of perforated paper tape allowed messages to be transmitted far more quickly. His fax machine (1843) allowed the transmission of text & images. Bain lost most of his money in litigation over his patents but was awarded a state pension.

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