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Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Xerox Corporation, Ltd. is a provider of document management technology, such as printers, photocopiers and multi-function peripherals (MFP) as well as related services. The multinational company's headquarters are in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Xerox derives from  xerography, a technology for duplicating images and documents. Xerography works on the basis of electrostatic charges. The xerography process is the dominant method of reproducing images and printing computer data and is used in photocopiers, laser printers  and fax machines. The company's technology was the de facto standard for many years, to the extent that making photocopies was usually referred to generically as "xeroxing."

Chester Carlson, an American patent lawyer, invented xerography in the 1930s. Although General Electric, IBM, Kodak and RCA turned Carlson away, the Battelle Memorial Institute invested in his research and eventually licensed it to a company called Haloid. Battelle and Haloid collaborated in research and demonstrated the technique in 1948. Haloid created the term xerography from the Greek words for "dry" and "writing." 

Haloid, which was founded in 1910, changed its name to Haloid Xerox in 1958 and then to Xerox Corporation in 1961. Many central components of modern technology, including desktop computing, were invented at  the company's Palo Alto Research Center.




This was last updated in March 2014

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