Chester Carlton

The office copier turns the big 5-0!

January 22, 2010: 10:16 AM ET

Lessons from one of the earliest information technologies.

Long before digital tools such as listservs, e-mail blasts, and even Facebook enabled us to easily broadcast messages, photocopies were the most efficient way to distribute information to groups of all sizes.

If the boss needed to discuss a new company policy, workers got memos in their (physical) in-boxes or slipped under their office doors. Community newsletters, fliers for parties, and the oft-maligned Christmas letters in holiday cards were all made possible by the automated copying machine, which made its commercial debut 50 years ago

"It was a democratizing technology," says Stephen P. Hoover, vice president of global software solutions for Xerox (XRX, Fortune 500).

Read the whole story here.

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