Monday, November 4, 2013

75 Years in 75 Seconds

Check out Xerox Corporation's video featuring 75 years of its history in 75 seconds, beautifully done.

Happily, there’s also a business history book that focuses on Chester Carlson and his invention of the photocopying machine: David Owens’s Copies in Seconds. 

Here's a great quote from Carlson (1906-1963) about the origins of his idea. Satisfying to see how he followed several interests at once and found a way to combine them, right from childhood. Of course, I also love that he "started a little inventor's notebook."

"Well, I had a fascination with the graphic arts from childhood. One of the first things I wanted was a typewriter—even when I was in grammar school. Then, when I was in high school I liked chemistry and I got the idea of publishing a little magazine for amateur chemists. I also worked for a printer in my spare time and he sold me an old printing press which he had discarded. I paid for it by working for him. Then I started out to set my own type and print this little paper. I don't think I printed more than two issues, and they weren't much. However, this experience did impress me with the difficulty of getting words into hard copy and this, in turn, started me thinking about duplicating processes. I started a little inventor's notebook and I would jot down ideas from time to time."  

[Quote source: Dinsdale, A. (1963). "Chester F. Carlson, Inventor of Xerography—A biography". Photographic Science and Engineering 7: 1–4]