The very first photocopiers
Photocopiers are common sights in pretty much every office, school and lots of homes up and down the country – and across the world.
But they actually have a history dating back far longer than you might think, with the origins of photocopying dating back to the 1870s.
Hungarian born David Gestetner, who gave his name to the Gestetner Cyclograph Company, filed his first copying patent in 1879 and opened the company’s headquarters in Tottenham in 1906, operating in 153 countries and employing thousands of people until it was sold to Ricoh in the 1990s.
The original stencil method duplicator used a wax-coated sheet of paper written on with a special stylus which broke through the paper, meaning ink could then be forced through the stencil to create a copy on a sheet of paper below. Before this, any copies would have to have been done by hand.
Gestetner developed his invention over the years, with addition of a pair of revolving drums and once the typewriter had been invented, a stencil which could be typed on was created so copies of printed rather than just handwritten material could be made.
While Gestetner’s work is still celebrated today (he even has an online museum dedicated to him), Chester Carlson is considered to be the inventor of the photocopier.
He created photocopying using a sulphur-covered zinc plate in the late 1930s after struggling to copy large numbers of important papers as part of his job at the patent office.
He was turned down by many companies who believed his invention would never take off, partly because of the methods invented by others like Gestetner, but in the end a company which later became known as Xerox began working with Carlson to refine the process.
Colour photocopying became possible in the 1950s and of course, there have been many technological advances since which have led to Unique Copiers being able to sell the kind of machines on the market today.
If you’d like to know all about what the latest copiers can do, then why not give one of our team a ring on 0845 108 9050.