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The History of the Ink Jet Printer

Posted by Roland on 12/13/2013
The development of inkjet printers started out slowly, but printers have since grown in popularity, versatility and dependability. Surprisingly, an English nobleman who understood the application but did not have the technology to apply it first patented inkjet applications in 1867. Siemens, a German company, later developed the process and began using it for medical film chart applications in 1951. The technology progressed from there and began to be used commercially in 1961. However, the equipment was expensive and largely unreliable due to poorly understood ink distribution processes.

The technology giants IBM, Canon and Siemens worked on various prototypes. They experimented with different styles and designs to solve problems and bring about the changes inkjet printers needed. In 1976, IBM achieved its goal and licensed its first successful commercial model. As with any new product, their printer had many problems. It clogged, and they did not fully understand how to create a process to regulate the ink distribution to allow for clean printing. Over the years, more and more companies took up the challenge, and everyone was looking for the right solution to create commercially successful inkjet printers.

Eventually, Canon and Hewlett-Packard developed their first commercially available inkjet printers. These units changed office functions throughout the world. They initially cost thousands of dollars, limiting their uses and their availability, but as the technology advanced, more companies became involved in their production and prices came down. Competition brought these new printers to schools, various industries, corporations and individuals alike.

Today, inkjet printers are found everywhere and are an essential part of any home, school or business. They help us share information and gather data. Many modern printers feature versatility and even increased security measures by recording their functions and keeping a log. They expand communication resources and provide access to intranets within an organization. We can now link offices together and print to inkjets hooked into the business intranets without the hassles of mailing or shipping correspondence. Inkjet printers can do everything: fax, copy, scan, collate and more. These units bring our world together and make competition and success possible.

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