Thinking West: Alexander Bain and the Great (Western) Migration of the 1840s

Alexander Bain, a Scottish inventor and clockmaker, invented the precursor to the modern facsimile (fax) machine. The fax machine, as it is now known, developed from Morse’s telegraph technology and clock machinery available to Bain. Bain’s ingenious machine received a patent in 1843. Today, the fax machine is a symbol of modern business and ultra fast communication. During the 1840s, another important event or rather a series of events, known as the Great Migration, took place on the North American continent. (The Great (Western) Migration of the 1840s should not be confused with the Great (South-North) Migration of the early twentieth-century.) Americans and new arrivals from Europe moved westward, hoping to settle or find fortunes in what are now the modern states of Utah, California, Oregon, and Washington.

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El Portal

Eastern New Mexico University’s literary magazine, El Portal, offers a venue for the work of writers, artists and photographers. ENMU students, national, and international writers are welcome to submit their original, previously unpublished short stories, plays, poetry and photography. No entry fees are charged. Cash prizes are awarded to first-, second- and third-place winners in each category (only ENMU students qualify). El Portal is published each semester at Eastern thanks to Dr. Jack Williamson, a world-renowned science fiction writer and professor emeritus at ENMU who underwrote the publication. El Portal has been published since 1939.