1959 – The first successful photocopier, the Xerox 914, is introduced in a demonstration on live television from New York City.The Xerox 914 was the first successful commercial plain paper copier which in 1959 revolutionized the document-copying industry. The culmination of inventor Chester Carlson’s work on the xerographic process, the 914 was fast and economical. The copier was introduced to the public on September 16, 1959, in a demonstration at the Sherry-Netherland Hotel in New York, shown on live television.
Xerography, a process of producing images using electricity, was invented in 1938 by physicist-lawyer Chester Floyd “Chet” Carlson (1906–1968), and an engineering friend, Otto Kornei. Carlson entered into a research agreement with the Battelle Memorial Institute in 1944, when he and Kornei produced the first operable copy machine. He sold his rights in 1947 to the Haloid Company, a wet-chemical photocopy machine manufacturer, founded in 1906 in Rochester, New York.
Haloid introduced the first commercial xerographic copier, the Xerox Model A, in 1949. The company had, the previous year, announced the refined development of xerography in collaboration with Battelle Development Corporation, of Columbus, Ohio. Manually operated, it was also known as the Ox Box. An improved version, Camera #1, was introduced in 1950. Haloid was renamed Haloid Xerox in 1958, and, after the instant success of the 914, when the name Xerox soon became synonymous with “copy”, would become the Xerox Corporation.
In 1963, Xerox introduced the first desktop copier to make copies on plain paper, the 813. It was designed by Jim Balmer and William H. Armstrong of Armstrong-Balmer & Associates, and won a 1964 Certificate of Design Merit from the Industrial Designers Institute (IDI). Balmer had recently left Harley Earl, Inc., where he had been a designer since 1946, to co-establish Armstrong-Balmer & Associates in 1958. At Earl, Balmer had been involved in the Secretary copy machine designed for Thermofax and introduced by 3M in 1958, and Haloid Xerox had been impressed with the design, engaging Balmer to consult on the final design of the 914.
A year later, in 1964, Balmer worked with Xerox to establish their first internal industrial design group. Among those first design employees were William Dalton and Robert Van Valkinburgh.
Specifications and features
One of the most successful Xerox products ever, the 914 model (so-called because it could copy originals up to 9 inches by 14 inches (229 mm × 356 mm)) could make 100,000 copies per month (seven copies per minute). In 1985, the Smithsonian received a Xerox 914, number 517 off the assembly line. It weighs approximately 650 pounds (294 kg) and measures 42″ (107 cm) high × 46″ (117 cm) wide × 45″ (114 cm) deep.
The machine was mechanically complex. It required a large technical support force, and had a tendency to catch fire when overheated (Ralph Nader claimed that a model in his office had caught fire three times in a four-month period). Because of the problem, the Xerox company provided a “scorch eliminator”, which was actually a small fire extinguisher, along with the copier. But despite these problems, the machine was regarded with affection by its operators, due to it being complex enough to be interesting to use, but without being so complex as to be beyond understanding.
The pricing structure of the machine was designed to encourage customers to rent rather than buy – it could be rented in 1965 for $95 a month, but would cost $27,500 to buy.
The 914 was a significant component of Xerox’s revenues in the mid-1960s, with one author estimating that the machine accounted for two thirds of the company’s revenue in 1965, with income generated of $243M. The machine was produced between 1960 and 1977.
The company’s subsequent models were the 720, the 1000, the 813 and the 2400. One writer has assessed that the popularity of the machine has had a number of lasting impacts, such as prompting the introduction of highlighter pens, and university reading lists in the form of anthologies, rather than chapters from separate books.
1846 – Anna Kingsford, English author, poet, and activist (d. 1888)
Anna Kingsford, née Bonus (16 September 1846 – 22 February 1888), was an English anti-vivisection, vegetarian and women’s rights campaigner.
She was one of the first English women to obtain a degree in medicine, after Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, and the only medical student at the time to graduate without having experimented on a single animal. She pursued her degree in Paris, graduating in 1880 after six years of study, so that she could continue her animal advocacy from a position of authority. Her final thesis, L’Alimentation Végétale de l’Homme, was on the benefits of vegetarianism, published in English as The Perfect Way in Diet (1881). She founded the Food Reform Society that year, travelling within the UK to talk about vegetarianism, and to Paris, Geneva, and Lausanne to speak out against animal experimentation.
Kingsford was interested in Buddhism and Gnosticism, and became active in the theosophical movement in England, becoming president of the London Lodge of the Theosophical Society in 1883. She said she received insights in trance-like states and in her sleep; these were collected from her manuscripts and pamphlets by her lifelong collaborator Edward Maitland, and published posthumously in the book, Clothed with the Sun (1889). Subject to ill-health all her life, she died of lung disease at the age of 41, brought on by a bout of pneumonia. Her writing was virtually unknown for over 100 years after Maitland published her biography, The Life of Anna Kingsford (1896), though Helen Rappaport wrote in 2001 that her life and work are once again being studied.
Kingsford was born in Maryland Point, Stratford, now part of east London but then in Essex, to John Bonus, a wealthy merchant, and his wife, Elizabeth Ann Schröder.
By all accounts a precocious child, she wrote her first poem when she was nine, and Beatrice: a Tale of the Early Christians when she was thirteen years old. Deborah Rudacille writes that Kingsford enjoyed foxhunting, until one day she reportedly had a vision of herself as the fox. According to Maitland she was a “born seer,” with a gift “for seeing apparitions and divining the characters and fortunes of people”, something she reportedly learned to keep silent about.
She married her cousin, Algernon Godfrey Kingsford in 1867 when she was twenty-one, giving birth to a daughter, Eadith, a year later. Though her husband was an Anglican priest, she converted to Roman Catholicism in 1872, which he appeared not to mind.
Kingsford contributed articles to the magazine “Penny Post” from 1868 to 1873. Having been left £700 a year by her father, she bought in 1872 The Lady’s Own Paper, and took up work as its editor, which brought her into contact with some prominent women of the day, including the writer, feminist, and anti-vivisectionist Frances Power Cobbe. It was an article by Cobbe on vivisection in The Lady’s Own Paper that sparked Kingsford’s interest in the subject.
Studies and research
In 1873, Kingsford met the writer Edward Maitland, a widower, who shared her rejection of materialism. With the blessing of Kingsford’s husband, the two began to collaborate, Maitland accompanying her to Paris when she decided to study medicine. Paris was at that time the center of a revolution in the study of physiology, much of it as a result of experiments on animals, particularly dogs, and mostly conducted without anaesthetic. Claude Bernard (1813–1878), described as the “father of physiology”, was working there, and famously said that “the physiologist is not an ordinary man: he is a scientist, possessed and absorbed by the scientific idea he pursues. He does not hear the cries of the animals, he does not see their flowing blood, he sees nothing but his idea …”
Walter Gratzer, professor emeritus of biochemistry at King’s College London, writes that significant opposition to vivisection emerged in Victorian England, in part in revulsion at the research being conducted in France. Bernard and other well-known physiologists, such as Charles Richet in France and Michael Foster in England, were strongly criticized for their work. British anti-vivisectionists infiltrated the lectures in Paris of François Magendie, Bernard’s teacher, who dissected dogs without anaesthesia, allegedly shouting at them — “Tais-toi, pauvre bête!” (Shut up, you poor beast!) — while he worked. Bernard’s wife, Marie-Francoise Bernard, was violently opposed to his research, though she was financing it through her dowry. In the end, she divorced him and set up an anti-vivisection society. This was the atmosphere in the faculty of medicine and the teaching hospitals in Paris when Kingsford arrived, shouldering the additional burden of being a woman. Although women were allowed to study medicine in France, Rudacille writes that they were not welcomed. Kingsford wrote to her husband in 1874:
Things are not going well for me. My chef at the Charité strongly disapproves of women students and took this means of showing it. About a hundred men (no women except myself) went round the wards today, and when we were all assembled before him to have our names written down, he called and named all the students except me, and then closed the book. I stood forward upon this, and said quietly, “Et moi aussi, monsieur.” [And me, Sir.] He turned on me sharply, and cried, “Vous, vous n’êtes ni homme ni femme; je ne veux pas inscrire vôtre nom.” [You, you are neither man nor woman; I don’t want to write your name.] I stood silent in the midst of a dead silence.”
Kingsford was distraught over the sights and sounds of the animal experiments she saw. She wrote on 20 August 1879:
I have found my Hell here in the Faculté de Médecine of Paris, a Hell more real and awful than any I have yet met with elsewhere, and one that fulfills all the dreams of the mediaeval monks. The idea that it was so came strongly upon me one day when I was sitting in the Musée of the school, with my head in my hands, trying vainly to shut out of my ears the piteous shrieks and cries which floated incessantly towards me up the private staircase … Every now and then, as a scream more heart-rending than the rest reached me, the moisture burst out on my forehead and on the palms of my hands, and I prayed, “Oh God, take me out of this Hell; do not suffer me to remain in this awful place.”
Alan Pert, one of her biographers, wrote that Kingsford was caught in torrential rain in Paris in November 1886 on her way to the laboratory of Louis Pasteur, one of the most prominent vivisectionists of the period. She reportedly spent hours in wet clothing and developed pneumonia, then pulmonary tuberculosis. She travelled to the Riviera and Italy, sometimes with Maitland, at other times with her husband, hoping in vain that a different climate would help her recover. In July 1887, she settled in London in a house she and her husband rented at 15 Wynnstay Gardens, Kensington, and waited to die, although she remained mentally active.
She died on 22 February 1888, aged 41, and was buried in the churchyard of Saint Eata’s, an 11th-century church in Atcham by the River Severn, her husband’s church. Her name at death is recorded as Annie Kingsford. On her marriage in Sussex in 1867, her name was given as Annie Bonus.
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