The History of Photocopy Machines Unveiled.

The photocopy machine has many names. It is also called a photocopier, a copy machine or directly copier. It is a handy machine used in every office and school and other business establishments. The device and its usefulness became too familiar that no one even bothers to think where it came. How about you? Have you ever thought about where Houston copier originated? Or have you ever considered how life was before its invention? Office life before the birth of photocopiers was a lot more difficult than now. Everything that needs a copy had to be done by hand or by typing. Its invention led to a revolutionary phase in different establishments and offices for various industries. And since we’re on the topic, it is indeed interesting to know how it came.

The Invention Phase

The brilliant man behind this invention was a patent attorney, inventor, and researcher named Chester Carlson. Part of his job in New York at a patent office to make many copies of thousands of relevant documents. He found this job difficult, frustrating and costly; thus he started to research photoconductivity. He was able to successfully invent the method of copying images from one paper to another through the use of static electricity. His first successful experiment took place in Queens, New York on October 22, 1938, by which he wrote “10-22-35 Astoria” on a piece of paper. Thus, the beginning of electrophotography.

The Development Stage

Carlson took 15 years to complete his invention, but he was also careful to patent every progress he made.  He gave the process of electrophotography a new name, Xerography. This invention became the most famous innovation of the mid-20th century. Carlson, on the other hand, received acclaims of different sorts all over the world. He also garnered vast wealth, but before that, he took ten years to find a company willing to develop his invented process. When the Haloid company agreed to build Xerography, it wasn’t long before it became a billion-dollar industry. The company soon became known as the Xerox Corporation.

It was in 1955 when Haloid introduced the Copyflo which is the first automated photocopy machine. It was only in 1958, however, when they produced the first commercial copier. It was called Xerox 914. It became very popular all over the world that it sold thousands rapidly. It was this invention that made Haloid’s income soared from $2 million to a staggering $22 million in just a short span of three years.

The Birth of Competition

Competition is inevitable in every market. Even with its astounding success, other companies tried to compete with Xerox Corporation. In 1955, Ricoh started to make a name as the main competitor for Xerox. There were also many other brands like Minolta, Toshiba, Sharp, Canon, Konica and many others who tried to produce smaller versions of business copiers. It proved to be an exciting challenge for the company. Their efforts to stay on top and become a brand name for every office proved successful when everyone started using terms such as “Xerox machine” and “Xeroxing.”

The Present

At present, Xerox still holds a name in the photocopying industry; however, many other brands also became reputable and well-known. There are hundreds of developments that surfaced and was widely accepted.