It is hard to conceive of a time when copiers were not part of the landscape, but before 1960 that was very much the case. So the fact that the Xerox 914 was unveiled on September 16, 1959 marks a milestone, if a somewhat unheralded one and its driving force, Chester Carlson a somewhat unknown inventor (however he was on a 21¢ stamp as part of the Great Americans series).
Carlson first built and patented “Electrophotography” (US patent 2,297,691 issued October 6, 1942 External) which Battelle and Haloid helped to further develop. Electrophotography being a bit of a mouthful, was changed to xerography(which eventually become the abbreviated Xerox). While earlier versions of what we know as photocopiers were created, the commercial version of the 914 wasn’t sold to the public until 1960. It was an instant success. The machine was so successful, that Haloid changed their name to Xerox in 1961 just 2 years after the introduction of the 914.
Photocopiers have come long way. Most businesses, law firms, and libraries have one or more! There are even stores dedicated to making of copies and copiers in our homes. I wonder what Chester Carlson would think about that?
If you have any further questions, please Ask A Librarian.
The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital content are provided when available.
The following resources created and digitized by the Library of Congress can be used to find out more about the machine as well as the events of the day.
These freely available online resources provide additional information on the topic.
Additional works on this topic in the Library of Congress may be identified by searching the Library of Congress Online Catalog under appropriate Library of Congress subject headings. Choose the topics you wish to search from the following list of subject headings to link directly to the Catalog and automatically execute a search for the subject selected. Please be aware that during periods of heavy use you may encounter delays in accessing the catalog. For assistance in locating other subject headings that may relate to this subject, please consult a reference librarian.