The history of the first laser printer

Many users of office equipment are interested in the answer to the question of when the first laser printer appeared. So, this model of the printing device has a very long and eventful history. It dates back to 1938, when the American physicist and inventor Chester Carlson was able to obtain the first xerographic image in the history of mankind.

It is worth noting that static electricity was used as the basis of the technology for its creation, which transferred dry ink (future toner) to the surface of the paper. This became possible only thanks to the many years of work and perseverance of this talented person. It was thanks to him that it was possible to abandon the use of devices that existed in those years, called mimeographs, and significantly reduce the cost of the prints obtained.

Thus, the very first laser-type printer was created precisely by Chester Carlson, who invented such a printing method as electrography and launched the further development of the history of the printer. The essence of the technology he created is to use a photodrum, which is an aluminum tube with a photosensitive layer. A negative charge is applied to this part and the laser beam, running over its surface, removes part of the charge in the areas intended for printing.

The photodrum, in turn, rotates during operation and is covered with dye powder in those places where the charge was reduced by the laser beam. Subsequently, this aluminum tube comes into contact with the sheet and transfers to it all the toner adhered to the photosensitive layer. Then the paper is exposed to a special oven, where the coloring powder is firmly baked to its surface.

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The emergence of the first mass device

Inventor of the first laser printer

Chester Carloson, after receiving the world’s first xerographic image, could not translate his ideas into reality for a long time. Having received a refusal from the country’s signal troops and IBM, a few years later, in 1946, he finally managed to find a company that agreed to start producing electrostatic copiers he had developed. This organization turned out to be the Haloid Company, founded in 1906. Initially, this company specialized in the production of photographic paper, but later it changed its name to Haloid Xerox (1958), after which it became known as Xerox Corporation (1961).

First copier model a

Xerox Model A

The first Xerox device was released on the market under the name Model A only in the 49th year of the last century. In general, it was quite difficult to use, since it required manual labor and was very cumbersome. To make a copy of a document using Model A, the user required a few manual steps. Those. this device did not work in automatic mode, which created some inconvenience when using it. But the development of the first printer, which used electrography technology for printing and released into mass production, did not stop there.

Introduction of the first laser printer

Ten years after the appearance of the Model A, a new xerograph was launched on the market, which this time was fully automated. It was called as follows: Xerox 914. It should be noted that the emergence of a new model of such a device made it possible to significantly simplify the printing of copies. The Xerox 914 was capable of producing about seven copies per minute! It was this device, invented in 1959, that became the prototype of all printers using laser printing technology, which began to appear in the future.

Copier machine 914

Xerox 914

As for laser printers directly, Xerox began to work hard on their development in the 69th year of the last century. But success was achieved only nine years later, when Gary Starkweather managed to improve the technology of copiers available in those years by adding a laser beam to it. Thus, the first laser-type printer appeared. The machine, which was given the name Xerox 9700, could print about 120 pages per minute. But its size was already very large, and the cost was transcendental for those times – 350 US dollars. For this reason, this model could not become a really widespread and affordable option for every home.

It is worth adding that the appearance of the first laser printer could have happened earlier, according to IBM, which claims that already in 1976 their laser printing device, called the IBM 3800, was already in full operation at FWWoolworth – North American Data Center. In general, the debate about who invented the first printer based on laser technology is still ongoing.

Further development

Canon LBP 10 first laser printer

Canon lbp 10

In 1979, Canon introduced users to a new model of a laser printer, which this time was a desktop – LBP-10. A year later, the company released another brand new device, this time – the LBP-CX. It should be noted that the history of the development of printers in the early 80s began to gain momentum, tk. the demand for these devices has reached high values.

But Canon needed strong partners to develop its marketing policy and promote sales in the data-processing device market. First of all, she turned with a proposal to one of the divisions of Xerox Corporation, but was refused in response, because this company itself at that time was engaged with a Japanese firm on the development of a laser printer, which was supposed to be the best desktop option in the world.

In the end, the choice of Canon fell on HP and the result of the joint activity of the two companies was the release of the model HP LaserJet (1984), which could print up to eight pages per minute. Sales of the new printer grew quite quickly, as a result of which this market segment in those years was largely owned by HP.

First hp laserjet

HP laserjet

The further history of a printer using laser printing technology is connected with the fact that the quality of prints of new models by the beginning of the 90s of the last century has become much better, and their cost has dropped below 1 thousand dollars. As for the first model of a laser printer with color printing, it was able to appear in 1993 under the brand name of QMS. A couple of years later, Apple managed to release a $ 7.5K device.

Thus, after several decades, laser printers have become truly affordable devices, which have become widely used not only in offices, but also at home. In addition, the assortment of their models available in modern stores is simply amazing. Therefore, you need to choose the optimal device carefully and painstakingly, focusing not only on its cost or manufacturer, but also on technical characteristics.


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