CONTACT US 01432 360229

When was the photocopier invented?

Chester Carlson and two very old photocopiers

The office photocopier is an incredible machine which has saved the world billions of man-hours, what did we do before this brilliant machine?

There were four copying solutions when Chester Carlson from Seattle invented the photocopier process called electro-photography in 1937, renaming to Xerography in 1938.

These copying solutions were…

  • Carbon Copying
  • Copying by hand
  • Pictures
  • Mimeograph

Whilst working in New York, Chester was shocked to see how many man-hours were wasted copying documents.

Having graduated from the California Institute of Technology with a degree in Physics, plus earning a law degree in New York, our hero Chester Carlson, set to work coming up with a more practical way of producing many copies of a document from simply pushing a button.

Having produced white papers on how this machine could work he approached many companies who crazily turned his invention down.

Xerox Was Born

It wasn’t until 22 Years after he’d invented Xerography that the first push button automated photocopier, called Copyflo, was produced. 

Quite rightly, the Haloid* Xerox photocopier called Copyflo became a huge success and the turnover grew from $2 million dollars in 1960 to $22 million dollars in 1963!

In 1955 Haloid, a photo paper manufacturer, helped Chester create CopyFlo. The company was originally called Haloid Xerox but shortened the name to Xerox when they floated on the New York stock exchange.

In the 1970s and 1980s the market was flooded with photocopying manufacturers which included Toshiba, Sharp and Kyocera.

Your humble and now highly advanced photocopiers sit in the office, churning out copies of important documents with ease and is sometimes a humorous prop at the Christmas party (I am sure Chester would be turning in his grave knowing what was photocopied at the Christmas parties). It took quite a journey to become one of the best office-based inventions of the last century, only the PC and the telephone have had a bigger impact on office life.

These days you don’t even need to buy a photocopier, you can also lease them at a low set price, see our post on the Leasing Vs Buying a photocopier.

If you’re looking to buy or lease a photocopier for your office or business, please call the Panacea sales team on 01432 360229. 

Most recent posts...