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The History of Printing

Posted by on 3/27/2020 to Blog

Printing has come a long way. In the present time, printing is extremely easy, all it takes is a printer purchased from a store near you, some ink, some paper, and you’re ready to go. However, it wasn’t always that easy.


When Did Printing Start?

Printing started as early as 3500 BC. This was when the Persian and Mesopotamian civilizations used cylinder seals to certify documents that were written in clay, long before ink was invented. A cylinder seal is a small round cylinder that is engraved with written letters or scenes. These were used in ancient times.

 

Woodblock printing on paper started around 200 AD in China. This led to the development of book production printing in East Asia. This form of printing was also used in Europe. The woodblock industry started text printing, screen printing and photocopying. The origins of colour printing come from people using colours in their woodblock printings.


When Did Computer Printing Start?

It wasn’t until 1938 when the first dry printing process was created by Chester Carlson in Seattle. The process he created was called electrophotography, which is commonly called a Xerox. This was the foundation for computer printing technology which would later become laser printers.


Inkjet Printers

Inkjet printing is one of the most common types of computer printing. This type of printing works by small droplets of ink being printed onto paper in order to create an image or text.

 

Inkjet printing originated in the early 1950s in Japan. It was created by Ichiro Endo, who at the time, worked for Canon. By the 1970s, inkjet printers that produced digital images that were generated by computers were created. These were started by Epson, HP (Hewlett-Packard) and Canon.\


Laser Printers

Laser printers are another common type of computer printing. A laser printer works by continually passing a laser beam back and forth over a negatively charged drum in the printer to product a high-quality image or text. These have quickly become the best printer for photograph printing.

 

Laser printing was developed in the 1969 by Gary Starkweather. It was fully functional by 1971 and was introduced for home use and office use in the years following.

 

The very first laser printer that was compatible with a computer was released in 1981 and was thought to be the most innovative technology at the time.


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