Tuesday, 22 November 2016

toner and fuser

There’s a brilliant cross-over essay from Tedium on Atlas Obscura that explores the invention of the Xerox machine—the 914 model debuting in 1959 and quickly becoming the most successful commercial product in history, its precedents and antecedents and the influences the new printing press had on the art and literature scene with collage, cut-ups, newsletters and the zine.
I especially enjoyed the fact that patent-attorney Chester Carlson’s inventive genius responsible for xerography (he was arthritic and hated queuing up to make copies of documents and knew that there must be a faster, better way) was a rather unique triangulation of processes that no one had associated prior and the appreciation of the copying techniques that came before—I remember ditto machine duplicates with their purple tint—and being reminded that some of those methods involved destroying the original to make copies.