The first photocopier was invented by American physicist Chester Carlson in 1937. Carlson had been working on a way to make copies of documents for years, after experiencing frustration with the tedious process of handwriting copies or using carbon paper to make duplicates.
He discovered a method of using electrostatic charges to transfer ink powder from a drum onto paper, creating an exact copy of the original document. The process was called xerography, which means “dry writing” in Greek.
In 1947, Carlson and his associate Otto Kornei founded the Haloid Company (which later became Xerox Corporation) to develop and market the photocopier technology. The first commercial photocopier, called the Xerox 914, was introduced in 1959 and quickly became a popular office tool, revolutionizing the way documents were copied and distributed.
The introduction of the photocopier had a significant impact on society, allowing for easier and faster duplication of documents, which had previously been a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. The photocopier made it easier for businesses, government agencies, and individuals to create and distribute documents, contributing to the growth of the modern office and changing the way people worked and communicated.