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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