Historical Background of Printers and Photocopiers
As early as 3000 BCE, printing—or more precisely, picture duplication—was already being practised. Using circular seals, the early Mesopotamian civilization imprinted images onto clay tablets to serve as stamps.
The invention of the printing press in the 1440s marked the next significant development in print. This was a very basic printing technique that moved ink from the press surface to the paper or other material. Inkjet and laser printing are the two main types of office printing as it is practiced.
The idea for inkjet printing was not developed until the late 1950s, after Remington-Rand had already created the first high-speed printer in 1953. When digital images could be reproduced from computers in the 1970s, the contemporary inkjet printer revolutionized the printing industry and gave rise to modern printing as we know it today.
The concept of laser printing did not emerge until the 1960s, when Gary Starkweather, a Xerox Corporation employee, thought of utilizing a laser beam to “draw” an image of what was to be duplicated directly onto the copier drum.
This innovation became the mechanism by which laser printers function today, and it took Hewlett-Packard (HP) until 1984 to build the first printer aimed at the mass market with the HP Laser Jet. This was swiftly followed by other laser printers from leading companies in the sector, including Brother Industries and IBM.
The laser printer has evolved into a more multifunctional machine that can print, scan, fax, and copy as office technology adoption has increased. Because of this, laser printing technology is now among the most common and significant technologies in the modern office setting.
New York patent attorney Chester Carlson invented the photocopier in 1938, however he named the process electrophotography. This was soon renamed Xerography and, at first was not a popular invention. It was not until 22 years after Carlson conceived electrophotography that the Xerox Corporation introduced the first commercial push button photocopier machine – Model A.
Since Model A, the functions and capabilities of modern photocopiers are vastly different with the ability to print on two sides of the page, staple documents, create booklets and send scans and faxes, all at the touch of a button.
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