Telegraphic instrument that was used for much of the 20th century to transmit and receive printed messages and data via telephone cables or radio relay systems. Teleprinters (or teletypewriters) became common for commercial use in the 1920s. In 1924 the Teletype Corp. introduced a series of teletypewriters so popular that the name Teletype became synonymous with teleprinters in the U.S. Coding schemes used for teleprinters included a variation of the Baudot code (1920s) and ASCII (1960s). (See Jean-Maurice-Émile Baudot.) With the advent of high-speed data transmission in the 1980s, teleprinters gave way to e-mail and fax.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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