A Brief History of Multifunction Printers

Multifunctional Printer History

Multifunction printers are relatively new technology. Prior to the early 21st century, printers and copiers were separate devices. Copiers used basic optical, analog imaging techniques to produce single copies, and it would be years before the digital revolution combined copying with printing and ushered in the Multifunction Printer.

The First Photocopy

The first "dry" photocopy was produced in 1938 by Chester Carlson in New York City. His technique of layering sulfur over a zinc plate and then producing a static charge with cotton was crude but effective. It required a darkened room, incandescent light, and wax paper. As they say, we've come a long way since then.

Enter DOS

Real change occurred with the advent of DOS operating systems. As computers began to replace typewriters, business owners found possibilities in dot matrix printing to analyze and store business data. As word processing capabilities flourished, demand increased, and businesses came to rely upon in-house printing for daily workflow processes and sharing of information.

Rapid Growth Fuels Innovation

Demand brought about innovation, with customization and new options driving the industry, including the explosion of laser printing in the mid 1980s. Rapid growth in the use of both business and personal computers increased the demand for high speed printers. But it wasn't until the digital revolution that copying and printing capabilities merged into one multi-use device now known as the multifunction printer.

Today's Office Workhorse

Today's multifunction printers offer a lot more than just copy, print, scan, and fax capabilities. Software advances, wireless technology, and professional finishing techniques combined with lower prices have made the multifunction printer a viable option for businesses of all sizes. For the increasing number of businesses with off-site and work-from-home employees, remote printing and cloud sharing have become attractive options to share business strategies and increase productivity.

To learn how a new multifunction printer can enhance productivity for your company, contact Proven Business Systems today!