Chester F. Carlson
Born Feb 8 1906 - Died Sep 19 1968
Electrophotography (Xerox) / Instant Copying
Patent Number(s) 2,297,691
Physicist Chester F. Carlson, the father of xerographic printing, was born in Seattle, Washington. Plagued by needs for copies of patent drawings and specifications, Carlson investigated ways of automatic text and illustration reproduction, working out of his apartment. While others sought chemical or photographic solutions to 'instant copying' problems, Carlson turned to electrostatics and in 1938 succeeded in obtaining his first 'dry-copy' and the first of many patents two years later. It took presentations to more than 20 companies before Carlson was able to interest the Battelle Development Corporation in his invention in 1944. In 1947 the Haloid Company-renamed Xerox Corporation-negotiated commercial rights to his xerographic development. Eleven years later, and just 10 years before his death in 1968, Xerox introduced its first office copier.
Carlson’s invention transformed copyright law and the way people work. The changes xerography has brought about continue to reverberate, and have made possible many other inventions such as the laser printer.