HD: What is a Photocopier? 
Posted: 28 April 2014 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]
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This is better than when Clinton asked what “is” meant.

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Posted: 29 April 2014 04:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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That was so funny and the actors were just perfect. I wonder if the noun Xerox and verb to xerox are used much now. Xerography itself is cited from 1948 in OED:

1948 N.Y. Times 23 Oct. 17/8 A revolutionary process of inkless printing..was announced yesterday… Invented by Chester F. Carlson, a New York lawyer, and known as ‘Xerography’, this basic addition to the graphic arts reproduces pictures and text at a speed of 1,200 a minute.

According to Wikipedia the word was coined by the Haloid Photographic Company who later changed their name to Haloid Xerox and then the Xerox Corporation.

In 1938 Chester Carlson, a physicist working independently, invented a process for printing images using an electrically charged drum and dry powder “toner.”

Joseph C. Wilson, credited as the “founder of Xerox,” took over Haloid from his father. He saw the promise of Carlson’s invention and, in 1946, signed an agreement to develop it as a commercial product. Wilson remained as President/CEO of Xerox until 1967 and served as Chairman until his death in 1971.

Looking for a term to differentiate its new system, Haloid coined the term Xerography from two Greek roots meaning “dry writing”. Haloid subsequently changed its name to Haloid Xerox in 1958 and then Xerox Corporation in 1961

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In the UK I remember the company was always known as Rank Xerox.

In 1956 the Rank Organisation was looking for a product to sit alongside a small business it had making camera lenses. Thomas Law, who was the head of the business, found his answer in a scientific magazine he picked up by chance. He read about an invention that could produce copies of documents as good as the original. Mr Law tracked down the backers, an obscure photographic-supply company in Rochester, New York, named Haloid.

It was the best deal Rank ever made as it gave them the right to market the machine outside of the US bringing vast profits.

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Posted: 29 April 2014 04:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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In fairness to Slick Willy, “is” is a more complex concept than photocopying machine.

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Posted: 29 April 2014 04:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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To me it looks like a thinly disguised Xerox ad.  Remember when punched (or punch) cards were called IBM cards in some countries and Hollerith cards in others?

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Posted: 29 April 2014 05:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Was this a regional distinction? Both IBM and Hollerith are American.

A quick search of Google books doesn’t show any use of either “Hollerith card” or “IBM card” before c. 1960, although use of the name Hollerith to denote tabulating mechanisms is, of course, older.

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Posted: 29 April 2014 07:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The short answer answer is, ‘yes, it was regional,’ but essentially two regions (basically US and Rest of World) until 1949. The somewhat complex history is given here:  http://www.answers.com/topic/international-computers-ltd

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Posted: 29 April 2014 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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That link gives the history of the businesses, but says nothing about the usage of the terms.

Admittedly I grew up post 1949, but Hollerith card was one most familiar to me in the States. I have no recollection of IBM card, but if I had heard it I would certainly have understood what it referred to, so I could very well have heard it and just not registered it in my memory.

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