HeroTechs 9 Unusual Facts About Photocopiers
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Copy machines had their origins in 1440 when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. The old printers used movable type, oil-based ink, and a press to transfer ink onto paper. The modern copier uses a plastic-based toner, electrostatic charges, and heat. In both cases, the goal was to accurately recreate documents. Here are some little-known facts about your photocopiers.
1. Sitting is bad
Statistics vary, but it is said that over 20% of copiers worldwide have had a service call placed because someone has photocopied their rear. Sitting on a copier can break the glass and housing of a machine.
2. Remember to wipe
Digital copiers will scan originals into memory, and then print them. 60% of all used copiers have information left on them from the previous owners. Where a lot of the data was trivial, there have been some cases where the information was vital and sensitive.
3. Color copiers help puppies
The Haloid Corporation sent 7 color copy machines to Disney in the late 50′s. These copiers were used in the production of 101 Dalmatians. Haloid became Xerox, in honor of their best selling product.
4. Bulgarian ingenuity and pain created the copier
In 1937, Bulgarian physicist Georgi Nadjakov discovered that electric polarization can be used to adhere objects to other objects. In 1938, Chester Carlson starts performing experiments with photoconductivity. He had arthritis, and hand copying documents for his job as a patent authority was causing excruciating pain. He is eventually successful with creating a transfer process.
5. Try and try again
Carlson invented the process of copying, but it was not refined. In fact, he took his process to several companies where his work was rejected. GE and IBM could not see a need for Carlson’s product. After several years of perfecting the process, Haloid Corporation obtained a license to market a machine with this technology.
6. Name changes make for better marketing
Carlson’s process of copying was called electrophotography. The Haloid Corporation decided to change the name of the process to xerography, meaning ‘dry writing.’ Their machines were called Xerox machines. Xerox rapidly became a household name.
7. The government knows
Both monochrome and color copiers exist today. To prevent counterfeiting, Xerox color copiers will print a small pattern of dots to identify it. That way, agents can discover the origin of the counterfeit print.
8. It’s not ink
Photocopiers use toner, which is a mixture of plastic granules, rust, pigment, and wax. The granules accept a photostatic charge and are attracted to a photosensitive drum. This drum transfers images to paper. The toner is then sealed to the paper using a heat process. Ink, on the other hand, is placed on the paper through the use of tiny jets which push the liquid in a series of pulses.
9. Speed in the office
The world’s fastest photocopier developed for office use is the Riso ORPHIS X9050. This machine is capable of making over 150 copies per minute. For commercial copies, there are roll fed machines which top over 300 impressions per minute.
Before the advent of photocopying, people had to rely on the use of carbon paper and hand sketching. Unfortunately, this was a tedious, aggravating process which left many hands sore. Chester Carlson’s invention was revolutionary, changing the landscape of business.