A brief history of printing.

In this short examination of the history of printing we will go through the technological advances associated with each phase of printing starting from the time of electrical appliances.

The origins of electrical printing can be traced back to as early as 1953 with the first use of government computers which required physical copies of their documents. In 1971 Xerox completed the design of the first laser printer which took toner cartridges, five years later the first inkjet printer was invented which became available for home use in 1988 and cost a massive $1000 to purchase.

Wide use electrical printing really came about when electrical typewriters were being phased out and a new form of printing was required (these printers took ink cartridges and toner cartridges) to meet the needs of using the word processor and personal computer. This final stage is typically represented with Canon’s Telestar 110 electronic typewriter model which was released in 1989.

The HP LaserJet 8ppm was the first laser printer which took toner cartridges intended for mass use and was released in 1984.

Up until 1990 dot matrix printers were the most common printer in use with personal computers and word processors. This style of ink printer which can still be seen to be in use today by trade is loud, slow and has poor output quality. It is anticipated that thermal printing will eventually replace this crude form of ink printing altogether as it is more suited to the needs of trade businesses.

Inkjet printing technology eventually surpassed that of Dot-matrix in the mid-1990s, and it is then when the common use of the inkjet cartridge was widespread.

Over the year’s inkjet and toner cartridge printers have developed to become more efficient and productive than previous models. Inkjet and toner cartridge printers these days have become smaller, faster, have more features, are more cost-efficient and are easier to use. The latest inkjet and toner cartridge printers released now connect to the internet and there are portable printers, scanners available to use to. One of the latest printing innovations is an inkless colour printer which uses a zinc plate instead of ink. This form of printer is in the early stages of development but has promising attributes which indicate the possible future of printing.

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