Richard H. Ranger Biography – Wireless Photoradiogram Inventor

Richard H. Ranger (b. June 13, 1889, d. January 10, 1962) was an inventor credited with inventing the wireless photoradiogram, also known as the transoceanic radio facsimile, a precursor to today’s facsimile machines.

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Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, through his career he was an inventor, electrical engineer, and music engineer. After serving in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in World War I, he attended MIT later in life.

In World War II, he once again joined the U.S. Army Signal Corps being put in charge of communications and radar in Orlando, Florida at the Radio and Radar Test Labs. Later he was present in Germany at the end of the war to investigate the German communications technology.


In 1924 Ranger invented the wireless photogradiogram, sending a picture of President Calvin Coolidge from New York to London in 1924, being the first picture sent through radio facsimile.

The photoradiogram entered commercial use in 1926.

Further Information:

More on the History of Fax:

  • The History of Fax – From Alexander Bain’s 1843 invention to today’s internet based fax systems (and everything in between)
  • Alexander Bain – Developed an Experimental Fax Machine between 1843 and 1846
  • Arthur Korn – Developed Fax Machine for Transmitting Photographs
  • Edouard Belin – Inventor of the Bélinographe
  • Frederick Bakewell – Improved Bain’s Facsimile Machine
  • Giovanni Caselli – Inventor of the Pantelegraph. Sent images 800km across telegraph wires 9 years before Alexander Graham Bell’s Telephone Patent
  • Herbert E. Ives – Sent first color fax
  • Richard H. Ranger – Invented first Transatlantic Radio Fax
  • Rudolf Hell – Invented the Hellschreiber
  • Shelford Bidwell – Research in the field of “Telephotography”
  • Pantelegraph – An early fax invention used to transmit images over telegraph lines
  • Fultograph – An early fax invention used to transmit images over radio waves”
  • Telautograph – An early fax invention used to transmit signatures over long distances
  • 3D Fax – A 1990s technique used to send computer code over a fax machine. Each page could hold about 50kb of information
  • Radiofax – Still used today, a method for transmitting images over long distances through radio. Also known as HF Fax or Weatherfax