How have scanners and copiers changed

Scanners and copiers are some of the most basic office and household equipments nowadays. We use them almost every day of our lives in order to send and receive documents. They are a basic utility but they used to be a very innovative and luxurious product in the beginning. We have selected dome of the key moments that changed scanners and copiers in the way we see them today.

How have scanners and copiers changed

The birth of the copier can be considered the primitive machine invented by Guttenbrun in order to spread information and knowledge. It is quite hard to compare it with the modern printer beacuse of the different technology.The first copier was invented by Chester Carlson in 1936. He released the product under the Xerox Company and because of the license and trademark law, they were the only producers for a very long time. The original model could only make black and white copies. After the patent restriction was lifted many other manufacturers entered the market. Canon is known as the first copier brand to allow color copies. Initially, color copies were considered a luxury item and were very expensive. Thanks to the technologic advance and market competition, color copies soon turned much more affordable.

The history of scanners spreads a long time ago. The modern scanners are considered to be the successor of the fax machine. This was used to send documents from one fax machine to the other in a matter of minutes. Before the fax machine was the pantelegraph incented by Giovanni Caselli. This device was a distant cousin of the basic telegraph and used electromagnets to scan and send images. The commercial use of this device peaked in 1860 and it was able to scan and send images that had the size 150x100mm.

Edouard Belin invented the Belinograph in 1913 and it was soon used widely to scan and send pictures. It could scan larger images than the pantelegraph and the technology was used for later models too. Hand scanners were a big hit during the 1990 and were widely used. They allowed many people ti buy them for household use because of the small price. The main disadvantage was that the image didn’t always turn out good.


The 3D scanner was incented for industrial purposes. It is used to scan objects in order to replicate them with a 3D printer or by hand. They are very useful especially in engineering because they allow detailed information about the size and surface of an object.

Nowadays we use multifunctional devices that have a scanner and a copier. They are usually connected to a computer so they make our job much more easily. It was never as easy as today to scan a picture or document and send it on the other side of the globe. Copying documents started hundreds of years ago and it consisted of hand copying all the documents. Nowadays all we need to do is to click on a button and the machine does the rest for us.