Few companies can claim to have so dominated their field that their name becomes synonymous with their product’s function. Xerox, however, is one of those companies. It’s certainly not unheard of in office settings for someone to say, “Make a Xerox of this, please.’’
Xerox, of course, isn’t the world’s only producer of copiers. But few are as well-known. And Xerox comes by the claim honestly: After all, it introduced commercial, plain-paper copiers to the world in 1961 with its Xerox 914.
Started in 1906 in Rochester, N.Y., as the Haloid Photographic Co., the company partnered with Chester Carlson in the 1940s to further develop Carlson’s copy machine invention. The process was called xerography and the company in 1961 officially became Xerox.
Fueled by the phenomenal sales of those early copiers, the company grew to become one of the world’s largest corporations. It now has some 130,000 employees and had revenues of $19.5 billion in 2014. The company has more than 12,000 patents in its name and has expanded into multiple fields from analytics to data management to credit card processing.
And, of course, it still makes copiers.
By Bob Warren