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Duplicating machines are the predecessors of modern document reproduction technology. They were machines that printed copies based on an original. The first mechanical copying machine was built in 1780, by James Watt, inventor of the modern steam engine, who created an initial form of copying press. This invention was only used privately and was not released on the market. In 1875 Thomas Edison's electric pen and copying press was invented and patented a year later. The invention made copying available at low cost and was the first mass-produced electric motor device ever offered for purchase. In 1879, David Gestetner, invented the Cyclograph Gestetner copying machine and the Cyclostyle, a stylus that operated with the Cyclograph copying device. In 1887, Albert Dick, founder of the A.B. Dick Company (1883), made up the word "mimeograph" to describe the process by which an electric pen was used to make the stencil and the process of copying on a flat surface. He had invented this machine by 1884 based on Thomas Edison's original design, which the former sold to him in order to develop and market it. In the mid-20th century, the duplicating machine was designed to serve a more mass reproduction, and as a result it became associated with printing. It was then transformed into a special machine that required the use of typewriter-engraved or hand-engraved elastic film to reproduce copies. In the late 20th century with the increase in the use of the computer, Duplicating machines were replaced by printers and photocopiers.

Updated: 29-03-2023
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