fultograph pictureFultograph has it's place in the history of the telegraph due to it being one of the very first practical commercial uses of the concept of the fax machine. The radio technology was already there and widely used, but American inventor Dr Otho Fulton has built an infection he named after himself that can formulate transmissions via a radio signal in a way very similar to the fax machine.

This was before the birth of the Television, and the mere idea of an image being broadcasted from one location and being received at many other locations at the same time was a pretty radical one. In August 1932, BBC has started their very first Fultograph transmission and allowed radio listeners with a specific type of high-quality receiver to print out a very low fidelity picture transmitted over the air. Overall there are over 300 radio dramas that had been transmitted via Fultograph, as evidenced by BBC archives . Mere 30 lines of picture Fultograph uses produced results that are unwatchable by our modern standards, but sparked awe at the time.

The process was pretty expensive, as it required very high quality emitter and a specific kind of receiver, which is why it never really took off, but it was a nudge in the direction of development of new technologies, with will later split into different ideas – method of transmission of data via compressed 0 and 1 signals that is fax transmission, and a method of broadcasting still images, and, later, moving images which is modern television.


Schematics and description in German

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