The History of Xerox

The significance of printers heightened during the start of the 21st century. Offices, as well as residential homes, had a wide use for these innovative devices. Furthermore, there are many other office equipments that were invented to simplify work; one invention that made a huge impact in reducing effort at work is the photocopier. 

Photocopiers or photocopying machines did excellent work in making the jobs of office workers a lot easier. From the name itself, the device allows the user to make paper or plastic film copies of documents easier. Using the photocopier would save time, effort, and money instead of manually copying documents. Interestingly, when we hear the word photocopier, the first that might come to mind is the name ‘Xerox.’ 

There is no surprise why Xerox is the first thing that might pop up in our minds when we come to think of photocopiers. It is not a coincidence since photocopiers do have an interesting backstory as to why it is associated with Xerox. That is why it is sometimes called the Xerox Machine.

What is Xerox?

As mentioned earlier, most of us might already have an idea of what Xerox is, and we often relate it to photocopiers. Interestingly, Xerox does have a significant role to play in the popularization of photocopiers. Xerox is also known as Xerox Holdings Corporation; it is an American corporation that focuses on selling prints and digital products and services. The company spans around the globe, offering its services to more than a hundred companies. 

Over the years, Xerox remained to be a significant company in the information technology industry. It is now based in Norwalk, Connecticut, along with its thousands of employees. Xerox dominated the IT industry for producing unique and valuable products, such as office printers, production printers, digital presses, multi-function printers, wide format printers, projectors, scanner copiers, and so on. The considerable influence of the company is the reason why it is always associated with photocopying machines. 

History of Xerox

We can trace back the origins of Xerox to the early 20th century. It was founded in 1906 in Rochester, New York, wherein it was originally called The Haloid Photographic Company. Similar to the modern Xerox company, Haloid was also known for manufacturing photographic paper and equipment. 

Chester Carlson invented the first-ever invention created for printing images that used a unique process in 1938. During this time, Carlson’s invention used an electrically charged photoconductor-coated metal plate and a dry powder tone, which pretty much resembles the idea of the modern photocopying machine. However, Carlson’s invention was not suitable for commercial use and still require more upgrades to function more efficiently. Twenty years after he created the first photocopier, it led to several adjustments in its design, resulting in a more functional machine suitable for commercial use.

Despite Carlson’s incredible work in developing the photocopier, another inventor was credited for making the machine known commercially. This person is regarded as the founder of Xerox; he is no other than Joseph C. Wilson. Wilson was responsible for commercializing the Haloid Photographic Company, which he took from Carlson in 1946.  

During the term of Wilson in the company, he thought of a new name to better match its products and services. The company came up with the word xerography, which is derived from Greek words, meaning ‘dry writing.’ Years later, the company changed its name to Haloid Xerox, which was quickly changed again to Xerox Corporation in 1961. Wilson was considered a co-founder of the company, wherein he became the President/CEO until 1967. His service in the company lasted for several years and ended on the day of his death in 1971. 

Xerox came up with several innovations and started producing quality products that would make an impact in the market. In 1959, the company made a milestone in introducing its iconic product: Xerox 914. This product is one of its most popular releases of all time and considered the most successful product the company ever manufactured. It is the first-ever plain paper photocopying machine, which was designed and developed by Carlson and John H. Dessauer. The product had a promising start in the market, earning roughly sixty million dollars in revenue at the end of 1961. 

The success of the  Xerox 914 marks the start of the company’s incredible journey in the industry. Years later, Xerox produced more innovative products that gained more recognition. Various Presidents and CEOs were known to lead the company to success, including its first female chief executive: Anne Mulcahy, who led the company for eight years. Today, Xerox is considered one of the most successful companies in the world, with ten billion dollars in revenue, along with thousands of employees around the globe.