(Xerox Corporation, Stamford, CT, www.xerox.com) A major manufacturer of analog and digital copy machines, computer printers and document management systems. Corporate headquarters are in Stamford, CT, while manufacturing and marketing is in Rochester, NY.|
In 1906, the Haloid Company was founded in Rochester to manufacture and sell photographic paper. In 1947, it acquired the license to Chester Carlson's basic xerographic patents from Batelle Development Corporation and sold the first xerographic copier in 1950. In 1958, the company changed its name to Haloid Xerox, and three years later, to Xerox Corporation.
The Xerox 914 copier, introduced in 1959, was an outstanding success, and the xerography technology catapulted the company into the major leagues. Over the years, Xerox acquired a wide variety of companies in computers, financial services, publishing and education, many of which it sold or spun off later on.
Its creation in 1970 of PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) resulted in major contributions to the computer industry, including the development of the first workstation with a graphical user interface, the mouse and Ethernet. As copy machines and printers merge into the world of networked document management, Xerox is at the forefront of this market, while continuing to research and develop new technologies.
The name Xerox means "dry writing" in Greek. The word xero means "dry," and graphy means "write." Carlson's invention used a dry, granular ink which replaced the messy liquid ink of the times.
The first xerographic copier was sold in 1950. Although manually operated, it provided the experience and revenue to develop the 914. (Image courtesy of Xerox Corporation.)
Nine years of development following the Model A produced the 914, the first automatic xerographic copy machine. It was an outstanding success and catapulted Xerox into a major corporation. (Image courtesy of Xerox Corporation.)
In this 1965 photo, Carlson enacts his 1938 experiment. On October 22, 1938 he wrote "10-22-38 ASTORIA" with india ink on a glass slide. The room was darkened, and a zinc plate, covered with sulphur, was rubbed vigorously with a handkerchief to apply an electrostatic charge. He put the slide on the plate, exposed it to light for a few seconds, removed the slide and sprinkled lycopodium powder on the plate. He gently blew off the loose powder and what remained was the first electrophotographic copy. After Xerox became successful, Carlson was showered with honors and wealth. In 1968, he died of a stroke on a New York City street. (Image courtesy of Xerox Corporation.)
Xerox's Star workstation was the first commercial implementation of the graphical user interface. The Star was introduced in 1981 and was the inspiration for the Mac and all the other GUIs that followed. (Image courtesy of Palo Alto Research Center.)
PARC is located in the Stanford University Industrial Park in Palo Alto, California. (Image courtesy of Palo Alto Research Center; Brian Tramontana, photographer.)