Copies in Seconds
How a Lone Inventor and an Unknown Company Created the Biggest Communication Breakthrough Since Gutenberg - Chester Carlson and the Birth of Xerox
By (author) David Owen
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Copies in Seconds by David Owen
Book DescriptionA lone inventor and the story of how one of the most revolutionary inventions of the twentieth century almost didn't happen. Introduced in 1960, the first plain-paper office copier is unusual among major high-technology inventions in that its central process was conceived by a single person. Chester Carlson grew up in unspeakable poverty, worked his way through junior college and the California Institute of Technology, and made his discovery in solitude in the depths of the Great Depression. He offered his big idea to two dozen major corporations -- among them IBM, RCA, and General Electric -- all of which turned him down. So persistent was this failure of capitalistic vision that by the time the Xerox 914 was manufactured, by an obscure photographic-supply company in Rochester, New York, Carlson's original patent had expired. Xerography was so unusual and nonintuitive that it conceivably could have been overlooked entirely. Scientists who visited the drafty warehouses where the first machines were built sometimes doubted that Carlson's invention was even theoretically feasible. Building the first plain-paper office copier -- with parts scrounged from junkyards, cleaning brushes made of hand-sewn rabbit fur, and a built-in fire extinguisher -- required the persistence, courage, and imagination of an extraordinary group of physicists, engineers, and corporate executives whose story has never before been fully told. Copies in Seconds is a tale of corporate innovation and risk-taking at its very best.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780743251181
(214mm x 139mm x 20mm)
Imprint: Simon & Schuster
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: 1-May-2005
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author David Owen
Cabinet's Finest Hour, Hardback (August 2016)
Using the Cabinet papers from the National Archives, former Foreign Secretary David Owen has written a new history of the pivotal British War Cabinet meetings of May 1940.
In Sickness & in Power, Paperback (March 2016)
An analysis of illness in heads of government, business and military leaders between 1901 and 2007 together with a new chapter about hubris syndrome in the military
Panther, Paperback (March 2016)View all books by David Owen
An important and powerful story told in striking and original prose, Panther is an honest, funny, unsentimental look at how depression affects those around the sufferer, especially when we don't talk about it.
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Author Biography - David Owen
David Owen is a staff writer for THE NEW YORKER, a contributing editor of GOLF DIGEST, and the author of MY USUAL GAME and THE CHOSEN ONE.
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