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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

X is for Xerox


Xerography is a dry photocopying technique invented by Chester Carlson in 1938. Here's an interesting story about Carlson. "It was not until 1959, twenty-one years after Carlson invented xerography, that the first convenient office copier using xerography was unveiled. The Xerox 914 copier could make copies quickly at the touch of a button on plain paper. It was a phenomenal success."

The company Xerox became synonymous with office copiers. Somewhere I recently read that government in particular was partial to having copies. For before the Xerox copier, data were stored in a single location and people had to go to that location. With the ability to duplicate the information, the individual offices wanted their own version. Many trees died.

Being the industry leader, the company became synonymous with making copies. Inevitably, this meant the term risked becoming genericized.

The Free Dictionary still recognizes the term as Xerox would have it. "A trademark used for a photocopying process or machine employing xerography. This trademark often occurs in print in lowercase as a verb and noun." Xerox can seem rather pedantic in this process. I dare say they would hate the word's use as Xeroxing DNA as this article on Polymerase Chain Reaction does.

I can't help but wonder how many Xeroxing policies actually involve actual Xerox machines.

Xerox logos over the years
Xeroxing quotes
Video: Writing Xerox in Chinese symbols - looks more like writing "copying" in Chinese.
Video: The Xerox Star 8010 graphical user interface (or GUI) presented by Xerox graphical interface designer Dave Smith in the 1981-82 time frame.
The final of the World Championship Xeroxing, held in Roelofarendsveen, Holland

For ABC Wednesday.



Xerography is a dry photocopying technique invented by Chester Carlson in 1938. Here's an interesting story about Carlson. "It was not until 1959, twenty-one years after Carlson invented xerography, that the first convenient office copier using xerography was unveiled. The Xerox 914 copier could make copies quickly at the touch of a button on plain paper. It was a phenomenal success."

The company Xerox became synonymous with office copiers. Somewhere I recently read that government in particular was partial to having copies. For before the Xerox copier, data were stored in a single location and people had to go to that location. With the ability to duplicate the information, the individual offices wanted their own version. Many trees died.

Being the industry leader, the company became synonymous with making copies. Inevitably, this meant the term risked becoming genericized.

The Free Dictionary still recognizes the term as Xerox would have it. "A trademark used for a photocopying process or machine employing xerography. This trademark often occurs in print in lowercase as a verb and noun." Xerox can seem rather pedantic in this process. I dare say they would hate the word's use as Xeroxing DNA as this article on Polymerase Chain Reaction does.

I can't help but wonder how many Xeroxing policies actually involve actual Xerox machines.

Xerox logos over the years
Xeroxing quotes
Video: Writing Xerox in Chinese symbols - looks more like writing "copying" in Chinese.
Video: The Xerox Star 8010 graphical user interface (or GUI) presented by Xerox graphical interface designer Dave Smith in the 1981-82 time frame.
The final of the World Championship Xeroxing, held in Roelofarendsveen, Holland

For ABC Wednesday.

ROG

16 comments:

anthonynorth said...

The word went from a name to an action. That shows when a product really has been a success.
Interesting post.

RuneE said...

I'm glad you Xeroxed the post - a very inventive way of treating just this one.

BTW My Firefox dictionary plug-in recognized "Xeroxed" as a verb. However it did NOT recognize Firefox...

magiceye said...

wonderful post!

mrsnesbitt said...

Excellent choice. I remember my mum going on a course to learn all the ins and outs of the xerox photocopier they had in the personel department at ICI. The course was in Edinburgh and she bought me a skirt!
Memories!

Reader Wil said...

Great choice for "X"! I think verbs are created after the noun came into existence. Like Hoover-to hoover. Thanks for visiting.

Marie Reed said...

Yes .. but have you ever sat on one and xeroxed your bottom? *grin*

Here is another superlambbanana link:)

http://www.cpaphilblog.com/search?q=superlamb

Carol said...

This was an interesting post...and I enjoy your sense of humor, LOL when I saw the post again.

Vicki ~ FL said...

Great post! Thanks for your visit.

Q said...

When I see the word Xerox I think of my Dad. He was thrilled when they came out. He bought a xerox machine for his personal use. He would send me xeroxed copies of all sorts of things...noun and verb and memories...Thanks.
Sherry

Janie said...

When we had a Xerox machine we made copies of everything. You're right, many trees died, probably for no good reason.
Great X choice.

Joy said...

Love the duplication and the chinese link, I think I might manage to write print. I used to work in an office which had a big old xerox; we seemed to spend more time delving into the workings trying to extract paper than copying.

Jama said...

This is the greatest invention! save me lots of time copying notes during my school days.

jay said...

Oh yes, 'xerox' is another 'biro', isn't it? We also 'hoover', even though our vacuum cleaner is made by Nilfisk!

Good one!

Grace and Bradley said...

I remember the old Xerox machine I used in college over 35 years ago. But Xerox is a classical example of a compony of monopoly eventually lost its innovation and competitiveness.

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh, I just love it. Where in the world would we be without xerox?

Tumblewords: said...

Clever post! I remember the advent of the noun. And how true about the demise of trees...