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Who Invented The Printer?

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Anyone with a computer is more than likely going to have a printer. Even if you do not own a printer you know what one is. Printers have come a long way since to time of a printing press that did one page at a time, by hand. Today’s printers can produce several printed pages per minute and they instantly dry. Printers also produce pictures with minimal dry time. Printers are used in every type of business for reports and chart, to letter and advertising. Envelops and posters are widely printed along with cups, shirts and magnets. If it has print on it, it was most likely printed from a printer. Check out who is credited with the invention of the printer by reading on.

Chester Carlson, middle, with his first Xerox machineChester Carlson, middle, with his first Xerox machine. © Xerox.

The first photocopier

The first photocopier was invented by Chester Carlson in 1938. The process was originally called electrophotography but it was later named xerography, which literally means “dry writing”. Later, he would form a company call Xerox.

Gary Keith StarkweatherGary Keith Starkweather.

Xerox Palo Alto

Xerox Palo Alto Research Center is the birth place of the laser printer. It took the research center three years to develop EARS. Gary Starkweather is accredited with the adaptation of the Xerox printer into a laser printer. He did this by incorporating a laser beam into the printer. In 1977, the first laser printer product was released.


IBM claims that the first IBM printer was actually installed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1976. It was placed in the F.W. Woolworth’s North American data center, in their central accounting department. It is stated that the printing system was capable of operating speeds of 100 plus impressions per minute. This was the industry’s first high-speed, laser printer.


Hewlett-Packard is accredited with the first home office printer product. It was a DeskJet inkjet printer. The inkjet printer was originally developed in 1976, however it was not until 1988 that it became a home product. Even though the printer was for home use, it still carried a price tag of one thousand dollars. In 1992, Hewlett-Packard debuted the LaserJet 4. It was the first of its kind producing 600 dots by 600 dots per square inch.

Matsushita Corporation

Matsushita Corporation is the company that is credited with the creation of color printers. It was created by duplicating the colors from their color monitor prototype onto paper. Matsushita Corporation is now known as Panasonic Corporation.

Before computer printers: The typewriter.