The history of copier technology may begin with the earliest human efforts to create mechanical records of images in their environment. Numerous devices were employed over centuries of experimentation. The camera lucida was refined by the 16th century, with photography and photomechanical printing processes introduced during the 19th century. Related tools emerged when A.B. Dick marketed Edison’s mimeograph in 1887, and 3-M marketed its Thermo-Fax in 1950. Of principal note is the production of the first electrophotograph by Chester Carlson in 1938. Carlson’s original patent (1939) described the ‘electrophotographic copying apparatus’ which would evolve into the first commercially successful photocopier. Carlson spent years trying to sell his idea to numerous companies. The Haloid Corporation accepted and developed Carlson’s process. Haloid Xerox released the Xerox Model D in 1950, the famous Xerox 914 in 1959, and became the Xerox Corporation in 1961.
Artists experimented with photocopiers as soon as commercial plain paper copiers became available, and responded with increased interest when full color copiers appeared.
- Mary Stieglitz Witte, Ph.D., USA
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