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The Xerox Story

Team YS
20th Jun 2012
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This humble legend marks the place and time of an auspicious event. It is the first text of the first Xeroxographic image ever fashioned. It was created in a makeshift laboratory in Queensland, NY. by a patent attorney called Chester Carlson, who believed that the world was ready to make easier and cheaper way to make copies.

Carlson was proved right only after a ten year long and fail search for a company that would develop his invention into a useful product. It was Haloid Company-a producer of photo paper in Rochester, NY, which took on the challenge and promise of xeroxography and thus became in a breathtaking short time, the giant multinational company called Xerox Cooperation.

Xerox is an American multinational document management corporation that produced and sells a range of color and black-and-white printers, multifunction systems, photo copiers, digital production printing presses, and related consulting services and supplies which recorded net revenue of $23 billion in 2011. This multinational and multi-diversified company started with the brave move of incorporating the newly discovered technique of Xeroxography (Greek for dry writing) and revolutionizing the world. Today, it is impossible to think of any avenue where the incorporation of the above products is not seen. And it all started with a vision.

The company came to prominence in 1959 with the introduction of the Xerox 914, the first plain paper photocopier using the process of Electro-photography, (later changed to xerography) discovered by Chester Carlson. The 914 was so popular that by the end of 1961, Xerox had almost $60 million in revenue. Later other products were developed at about half the size and weight this, still sizable, machine printed onto hand fed, cut sheet paper which was pulled through the process by one of two gripper bars bringing Carlson's vision of a copier that could fit on anyone's office desk into a reality. The company expanded substantially throughout the 1960s, making millionaires of some long-suffering investors who had nursed the company through the slow research and development phase of the product.

In 1960, the Wilson Center for Research and Technology was opened in Webster, New York, a research facility for xerography. Xerox common stock (XRX) was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1961 and on the Chicago Stock Exchange in 1990.

The laser printer was invented in 1969 by modifying a Xerox copier. This development resulted in the first commercially available laser printer, the Xerox 9700 . Laser printing eventually became a multi billion dollar business for Xerox and continues to dwell in our workspace.

In 1970, Xerox opened the Xerox PARC (Xerox Palo Alto Research Center) research facility. The facility developed many modern computing technologies such as the graphical user interface (GUI), Laser printing, text editors and Ethernet. The company was revived through improvement in quality design and realignment of its product line. Development of digital photocopiers and a revamp of the entire product range—essentially high-end laser printers with attached scanners, known as Multi Function Machines, or just MFMs, these were able to be attached to computer networks—again gave Xerox a technical lead over its competitors. Xerox worked to turn its product into a service, providing a complete document service to companies including supply, maintenance, configuration, and user support.

Xerox today manufactures and sells a wide variety of office and production equipment including LCD Monitors, photo copiers, Xerox Phaser printers, multifunction printers, large-volume digital printers as well as workflow software. Xerox also produces fax machines, professional printers, black and white copiers and several other products.

Xerox has been the benchmark of the companies which pioneer in both research and innovation and bring into market products the way we shape our lives.

This is part of a series of success stories that we will bring to you on a regular basis.

- Madalsa Singh

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