A brief history of Xerox
Xerox Corporation is a large American conglomerate with services such as consulting, content management, image processing and document outsourcing, although it is best known for its photocopy division. In addition to the major black and white copiers, other notable products have been offered throughout Xerox's history. The company is also known for its wide range of scanners, fax machines, multifunction devices and digital printing and publishing systems.
The origins of Xerox
The Xerox story begins in 1906 with a small photo paper company in Rochester, New York. The Haloid Company, as it was then known, was sold for a modest $50,000 to a Rochester businessman named Gilbert E. Mosher. When Mosher took over the presidency, he left day-to-day operations to the company's founders. Mosher's job was to innovate and keep the company profitable, which he did well. Haloid opened offices in New York City, Boston and Chicago during the expansion.
Concerned about Haloid's market share, the board decided to improve the quality of the company's paper. After a few difficult years, Haloid launched the new and improved paper in 1933, with great success. The paper coup helped save the struggling company from collapse during the Great Depression.
In 1934, at the height of its success, the son of one of Haloid's founders, Joseph R. Wilson, decided that the company should acquire the Rectigraph Company. Rectigraph made copiers and was a customer of Haloid. Haloids went public in 1936 to pay for the purchase and soon began selling rectigraphs as a major part of the overall business.
During World War II, the military was in dire need of high-quality photographic paper for recognition, and this helped Haloid prosper in the mid-20th century. But when the war ended, times got tough. Mosher wanted to sell the company, but Wilson didn't want to give up his birthright.
Wilson kept the company, with Mosher still on board, and the company entered into an agreement in 1947 with the Battelle Memorial Institute, a non-profit research organization in Columbus, Ohio. Using the new "xerography" process invented by patent attorney Chester Carlson, Haloid hoped to develop a new copier. Carlson invented xerography, or "dry writing," in 1938 because he was frustrated with the cost and difficulty of copying documents. Battelle signed a royalty-sharing agreement with Carlson in 1944.
Debut of the Xerox copier
Within two years, Haloid introduced a new copier, aptly named "Xerox", and spelled with a capital "X" at the end. This was the first copier to use xerography technology in Xerox history. Although the machine was difficult to work with, messy, error-prone and cumbersome, Haloid believed in its product. While many in the financial industry felt Haloid's investment was foolish, there was light at the end of the tunnel. Battelle engineers found the XeroXs to be excellent masters of offset printing, and many machines were sold as a result.
Haloid was smart enough to invest its profits in the research and development of a second-generation xerographic copier, and in 1950, Battelle made Haloid the sole licensing agency for all patents based on the xerographic process. The company has wisely licensed patents to large companies to take advantage of the widespread use of xerography.
In 1955, Haloid's sales were better than ever, and many of the detractors of Xerox's early history were proven wrong. The company converted 18 regional offices into Xerox machine showrooms, hired 200 sales and service employees, and built a manufacturing plant in Webster, New York. In 1956, Haloid formed a European subsidiary called Rank Xerox with Rank Organization Plc, a British film company.
Meet the Xerox 914 copier
In 1958, Haloid realized its future was in the xerographic copier industry, and the company changed its name to Haloid Xerox, Incorporated. In 1960, he launched one of the most famous copiers in Xerox history, the Xerox 914 copier. It was the first marketable plain paper copier and its market debut was a great success.
However, the company still couldn't afford a large-scale advertising campaign, so it selectively placed ads in magazines and on television where it hoped business owners would see them. To increase machine availability for smaller businesses, Haloid Xerox even offered the 914 on a monthly basis.
Remarkably, demand for the nearly 800-pound machine exceeded all company expectations throughout Xerox's development history. In 1961, sales and rentals of the 914 doubled and continued to grow. By the end of the year, the newly formed Xerox Corporation was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
In the 1960s, Xerox opened subsidiaries in Mexico, Australia, and continental Europe. It also partnered with Fujifilm in Japan to penetrate the Asian market. The company became one of the 100 largest companies in America and moved to its current headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut in 1969.
Innovations in computer technology.
One of the biggest claims in Xerox history is its contribution to modern computing. In the late 1960s, Xerox focused its efforts on creating a paperless electronic office. By forming Xerox Computer Services in 1970, the company acquired many smaller computer companies and later opened the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in California. PARC researchers created the world's first personal computer in 1973. The design was so innovative that it inspired Apple to design what would eventually become the Macintosh.
late 20th century
In 1970, IBM introduced its own office copier, eventually giving Xerox some competition. While not as advanced as the Xerox model, the lower-cost alternative was backed by IBM's solid reputation. Kodak eventually came up with a copier similar to the Xerox design, and the Japanese company Canon entered the highly competitive market in 1980.
Times were tough for the venerable company, but Xerox knew it had to introduce new products to compete. As a result, the 10 Series copiers were introduced in 1982. Although Xerox's history dates back to the 1960s, this was the first new line the company introduced since then.
The new machines contained microprocessors to control internal functions so that they could perform more complex tasks, regardless of the type of paper. These models were also much smaller and broke down much less than previous prototypes. For the first time in Xerox's nearly two-decade history, the company gained market share and maintained its 50% market share by building machines capable of generating up to 70 copies per minute.
During the 1980s, Xerox spent approximately $3 billion on color and digital printing research and development to support growth. As such, Xerox has been at the forefront of developing these new technologies. Between September 1990 and March 1991, Xerox introduced a series of five new computer printers, the 4350, 4197, 4135, and 4213. Each printer was designed to meet different types of office needs, from two-color printing to desktop laser printing
Xerox has also upgraded its fax machine by developing a smaller model that can also be used as a copier and telephone. He was also instrumental in the development of reusable thermal fax paper. In 1992, the company developed Paperworks, software that allows you to fax directly from a PC to a fax machine.
A new beginning
Xerox's history had cemented its eternal image as a copy company, but in 1994 a move was made to shake off that reputation when it changed its name to "The Document Company," in reference to the company's document processing products. Xerox even incorporated a new logo with a big red X, which was partially digitized to reflect the shift away from analog technologies. The company developed and introduced several digital offerings, including photocopiers that functioned as multifunction devices. These devices can also scan, fax and print from PCs.
One of the highest-grossing debuts in Xerox history, released in 1996, was the DocuColor 40. It immediately captured more than 50% of the high-speed color copier market and was capable of printing 40 color pages per minute. With new momentum, Xerox developed and introduced 80 new products in 1997 alone. This number was the highest in Xerox history.
Xerox continued to make imaging products for the fast-growing home office segment at prices low enough to be sold in office stores. However, the company claimed it wanted to be known for more than just office products, so in 1997 it acquired DocuShare, a document management software company. The software provides users with a system to send, manage and share information.
At the turn of the last century, Xerox purchased the color imaging and printing segment of Tektronix, Incorporated. This allowed Xerox to gain the second largest market share in the United States for color laser printers, behind only Hewlett-Packard. This deal was critical to Xerox, as computer printers have virtually replaced administrative tasks once assigned to trusty copiers.
For a closer look at the history of various technology companies, such as this look at the history of Xerox, visit1ink.comcheck back often for more information, tips and advice, and check out our huge inventoryXerox-tonerpatroonAre.