Carlson inventa la fotocopiatrice

prima-fotocopia
Foto da: ELSI – Elettronica Sistemi

Chester Carlson (1906 –1968) era un fisico e avvocato, che lavorava nell’ufficio brevetti di New York.
Essendo costretto a copiare infiniti documenti a mano e soffrendo di forte miopia e di artrite, si era messo a studiare nuovi metodi di copiatura, meno noiosi o dolorosi per la sua salute.
Lavorando nella cucina di casa sua, nel quartiere newyorchese del Queens, riuscì a ideare un processo basato sulla fotoconduttività e sabato 22 ottobre 1938 fu in grado di produrre la prima fotocopia chiamata “elettrofotografia”, fatta utilizzando una lastra di zinco ricoperta di zolfo.
Aveva scritto alcune parole su di un vetrino di microscopio e l’aveva collocato sopra lo strato di zolfo, quindi lo aveva illuminato per alcuni secondi con un’intensa luce. Dopo avere rimosso il vetrino, un’immagine speculare della scritta era rimasta incisa sulla lastra. Vi si leggeva “10-22-38 Astoria”, la data e il quartiere di New York in cui fu realizzata l’invenzione.

Carlson cercò di vendere la sua idea ad alcune aziende, tra cui IBM e General Electric, ma nessuna riteneva che esistesse un sufficiente mercato per quella macchina.

Il suo metodo, ribattezzato xerografia (dal greco xeros, “secco”, cioè non basato su reazioni chimiche in soluzioni acquose) e brevettato nel 1942 , fu portato al successo dalla Haloid Company, una piccola società che aveva iniziato come produttrice di carta per fotografia e si era dimostrata disposta a investire nell’idea. L’azienda mutò poi il nome in Xerox Corporation e nel 1956 formò una joint venture con la britannica Rank, dando vita a Rank Xerox, storico marchio nel settore delle fotocopiatrici.

 

9 thoughts on “Carlson inventa la fotocopiatrice

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  2. This posting resonated with me. I was a full-time librarian and getting my MBA part-time in the evenings. I was copying citations from Readers Guide to Periodical Literature (back before the days of the Internet .) I realized that if I xeroxed the citations, I could save hours of time by spending a small amount of money. It was the first time I realized that my time was actually more valuable than the money I was spending. ( I was making about $9/ hour and copies were $.10 each so $5.00 to copy all of the citations was cheaper than the $9/hr to copy them by hand)

    Liked by 1 person

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