Chester Carlson, a patent attorney, is the first person to produce a copy. He was able to do this in the year 1937 by using static electricity, and he called it electro photography. A year later, the process was renamed to Xerography, and it became one of the most well-known inventions of the 20th century. In fact, Carlson became very wealthy as his invention created billions in the business industry. He even gave a generous amount to various charity and foundations before he died.
But did you know that Xerography’s journey to success wasn’t all that easy? It took Chester Carlson 10 years to find a company that’s willing to develop his invention. The Haloid Company is a New York-based photo-paper manufacturer and is now known as the Xerox Corporation. The first automated xerographic machine was produced in 1955, and it was named Copyflo. However, it was nothing like the models that you see today. The first push button copier machine was introduced in 1958.
The First Photocopier from Xerox and Its Competitors
Xerox called their first push button copier machine as 914, and it was a total success! The company made over $20 million dollars in 1963 from this machine alone. It was the beginning of good times for Xerox, and it prompted them to create 24 new designs in the coming years.
But as the years passed, other companies produced their versions of the photocopier. What was then called the Xerox machine, is now known as the photocopier or photocopy machine. Ricoh was Xerox’s greatest competitor at that time. As early as 1955, Ricoh began to develop their first machine, and it was called RiCopy Diazo copier.
By 1975, they released a model called RiCopy DT 1200 which became a huge success and challenged the products from Xerox. The competition didn’t stop there because as the years went by, photography companies such as Canon, Konica Minolta, and Toshiba also created their photocopy machines. They all emerged to challenge Xerox’s domination over the industry.
Although other companies posed a threat to Xerox, it was obvious that majority of the consumers were loyal to them. Xerox focused more on producing high-volume copiers, and other companies produced small office copiers. And in an attempt to break down the domination, companies founded small local dealerships all over the country. Since Xerox is a global company, they couldn’t provide the intimacy that these local businesses are offering.
Copier Machines as You Know Them Today
Xerox continues to be a popular name in the industry of photocopying. In fact, they are one of the most influential and trusted names when it comes to copier machines. However, they had neglected the development of copiers when they invested more on producing computer equipment. They also experienced success in this field when they came up with an operating system that was a forerunner to Windows and when they invented the computer mouse. Experts say that if Xerox has focused on producing copiers, the industry would be very different from what it is now.