Seven Things You Didn’t Know About Photocopiers

Think the humble office photocopier is a just mundane piece of equipment?  Think again! Photocopier specialists Copyform have compiled this list of interesting facts for you to entertain your colleagues with the next time you’re queuing for the copier!

Arthritis led to its discovery

Bulgarian physicist Georgi Nadjakov first discovered that objects could be adhered to other objects through the use of electric polarization. It was Chester Carlson in 1938 however who began performing experiments with photoconductivity and who eventually created a transfer process. The reason? He suffered from arthritis and working as a patent authority involved copying many documents by hand using carbon paper, which was causing him a great deal of pain.

Carlson’s discovery was initially rejected

Although he discovered the principles of copying, it took Carlson many attempts to find a company willing to develop and refine his process. He was rejected by General Electric and IBM before Haloid Corporation eventually bought a licence to market a photocopier using his technology.

A change of name

The process of copying discovered by Carlson was initially called ‘electrophotography’. The Haloid Corporation however chose to change the name to ‘xerography’, meaning ‘dry writing’, and they called their photocopiers Xerox machines. Xerox of course went on to become a household name in photocopying.

The first popular copier

The first popular photocopier was the Xerox 914, released in 1959. If released today however, there’s a good chance that it would be withdrawn as a danger to health and safety. Not only did the machine have a tendency to overheat, it was even known on occasion to burst into flames! Xerox even issued fire extinguishers with the machines due to this problem.

The cartoon connection

In the late 1950s the Haloid Corporation sent Disney seven colour photocopiers, which were used in the production of 101 Dalmations in 1961, the first animated feature film to use the process of photocopying.

The speediest machine

The fastest photocopier in the world is the Riso ORPHIS X9050. The machine can make an incredible 150 to 300 copies a minute!

Don’t sit on it

Sitting on your photocopier after a few drinks at the office party and pressing the green button might seem like a hilarious idea at the time, but your boss won’t be too amused if you damage his machine! A fifth of all copiers are reported to be damaged by someone sitting on them and damaging the glass.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, CEO of Inspired Marketing, Inc., is a small business marketing coach who teaches women entrepreneurs how to monetize their message so they can make more money from their expertise. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog,

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