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Top Twenty Old Copier Manufacturers that FADED Away!



Did you sell these, did you ever see one, or maybe you weren't even a twinkle in your Mom's eye when these copier manufacturers were the King of the Road!
Copiers for sale or rent, copies to make, for three  darn cents
No finishers, no document feeders, no R & E, I aint got not accessories!

"Tell Us About Some Old Copier Companies", was a question we posed to our Print4Pay Hotel members about a week ago, as you can see it was very popular thread.
Special thanx to all of the P4P'ers for the information they shared!!  Enjoy!

This was truly the Golden Times when selling, prospecting and demo skills whet hand in hand.  I can remember those DEMO days, everyone would load up a copier in their station wagon and then proceed to knock on as many doors as possible in order to conduct a demonstration on the spot!  The winners were the guys who did not come back with the copier but a check or lease/check in hand!

Adler Royal: Headquartered in Mountainside, NJ, these systems were manufactured by MITA, one of the first full lines I carried when I owned my own dealership. DSM was Bob Morganthaler (think)

Yorktown: I've only seen one and couldn't even remember the model number, all I can remember is that the system was huge, a dial was used to select how many copies you wanted. (Art Post)

Yorktown was made by Toshiba in the 70's (jomama)

Singer-Freidman: model 1082 It was a tabletop estat. Also GAF had 2 models a small desktop and a huge 40 cpm floor model that used strobe lamp exposure. all of these used roll fed paper like most but not all of the machines in that era. (jomama)

SaxonSaxon: I sold them but don't remember much about they started or where they went. The company I worked for had the liquid toner Savins and the Saxon was a dry toner alternative. (Old Glory)

Saxon PPC1 and PPC2!!! Plain paper & liquid toner (Anders And)

Copystat: Before Saxon bought them, the liquid estats were made and sold under the Copystat name. I worked for them in 1970/71. My first introduction to copiers. We thought the process was a miracle. (jomama)

Selex: Was a secondary line to Canon in the 80's (art post) Canon introduced the Selex line as a bid machine category. They were basically just stripped down Canon units. (rj nelson)

kym_dc-1255Mita: Was one of the rockin star manufacturers during the early to late eighties. (art post)

Mita's big claim to fame was that they only made copiers so they were the experts. No company money going into R&D for camera's watches or whatever. (rj nelson)

Towa: If memory serves me correctly they were headquartered in Morrisville, Pa. They relabeled Sanyo copy machines. Back in the 80's

Sanyo: From what I recall had a pretty decent line up of systems, they also OEM'd for Towa. Back in the 80's.

Minolta: Minolta 101 estat system (I trained as a tech on that system and remember selling the EP310, EP320, EP510 (just some of the early plain paper models). (art post)

Rex Rotary: Back in the late 90's, NRG(Nashua Rex Rotary Gestetner)was involved with Savin Canada.(from Color1)

Rex Rotary did sell copiers developed and produced in Denmark, among others the "mailbox" (sort of) that could be wall mounted! (Anders And)

Eskofot: Also the attached 1001 from Eskofot was danish. (Anders And)

Royal: Royal was liquid based copiers.(Anders And) I have been selling copiers since the 70's. I started with Royal Bond units which were the size of a chest freezer and you could royal the dial up to 20 copies at 10 cpm. (RJ Nelson)

Kodak Ekta printKodak:  In the eighties Kodak was the high end brand along with Xerox and IBM.  I wish I could have had the opportunity to sell them.  When cold calling on the phone and or in person, when I heard, "we have a Kodak", well. it was time to walk away and find another prospect!
3M: Earliest copiers were the ThermoFax brand - ran copies past an Infrared lamp to transfer image to coated paper. I believe from the early 60's. I sold the 3M 545, plain paper, single tray, no reduction or enlargement. (Old Glory)

 In mid to late 60's introduced the Model 107 & 209 2 step copiers - exposed a pink film to light and ran through a heater to transfer image to coated bond paper.

Next technology was M191 & 215 series in mid 70s - electrostatic process using a crush roller & heat to fuse the toner to coated paper - created a shiny surfaced copy - paper supplied in rolls and was light weight.

 Finally in late 70s they moved to electrostatic process technology similar to today's imaging process and plain bond paper. This is when they started going to Japan for products - prior to this 3M manufactured products here in the states. (Lucas Distributing)

To add to an earlier post regarding the 3M 209 with the pink paper. The process was called dual-spectrum. After that 3M had the VQC line of electro static copiers ending with the VQC III. They really helped me be successful when I started in this business 30 years ago because it was so easy to pencil sell an upgrade to plain paper based on the high supply costs of the treated paper of the VQC III.(Old Glory) I remember the 209 and the 251 and of course the Termofax. (Anders And)
panasonic copierPanasonic:  They didn't last that long in the industry, but was a popular choice in the nineties.  I think they bowed out about 10 years ago, at or near the end of their copier manufacturing, they had some wild colors like this yellow copier I saw at an event in NYC.

IBM: I sold and worked on the IBM 102 which was OEM by Minolta and was the Minolta 310 plain paper. Had the moving top, one paper tray and was so slow. $3,995 list ? (art post)

SCM CopierSCM Corporation: 1960's SCM was among the world's leading producers of coated paper copiers machines capable of automatically creating copies of an original document on specially treated paper coated with zinc oxide. In the mid 1970's SCM marketed a plain paper copier, the 6740, which it purchased from the Van Dyk Corporation. Back in the 60's & 70's

Apeco: (American Photocopy Equipment Corp) for a history of Apeco click here . Back in the 60's, and 70's. The American Photocopy Equipment Company (Apeco), which manufactured and marketed photocopy machines, was incorporated in 1954 after acquiring the name and assets of a limited partnership that had been in existence since 1939. (Havard Business School)

Konica:  In 1971, Konica introduced its first plain paper copier. The company placed over 63,000 machines in 1993. By 1994, Konica had sales of $5 billion and net income of $42.6 million. (source Auburn edu):

Olivetti: Olivetti is a well-known Italian brand; you can find Olivetti copiers in the United States, but they are more common in continental Europe and the United Kingdom.

Olivetti was crappy ZnO machines (Anders And)

Here's a few more old copier companies that we did not have a response for Monroe, AB Dick, Olympia, Silver Reed, Swintec, Pitney Bowes, Gestetner and VanDyk Corporation.  In reviewing some and old document from 1993 there were 25 different brands engaged in selling copiers in the US.

In 1992 the top five market share leaders were Canon 29.1%, Sharp 20.6%, Xerox 13.4%, Mita 10.3%, Toshiba 6.4%. Oh, how the mighty have fallen (except for Canon and Xerox).
Replies from the original MFP Solutions Blog
Hugh Jazz said...

I worked for 3M BPSI in Chicago from 1972 to 1987, then Lanier until 2006. I serviced all 3M Dual Spectrum, Thermo-Fax, VQC, Plain paper 3M models 777, 787, and 848/858, Toshiba made 360, 365, and 368 copiers. Also serviced 3M Dry Silver Microfilm reader-printers. I remember the 3M Color-In-Color, 609, and VHS copiers from 1972. 3M acquired the VanDyk(Royal) 6740 and Kodak Duplicators in the late 1970's. I had friends who worked at Xerox, APECO's facility in Evanston, Il, and AB Dick in Niles, Il. Oce' had a sales office in Lincolnwood, Il.

Hugh Jazz said...

Addition to my previous comment: 3M also acquired the 6070, 6272, and 6483 copiers made by "Copyer"(Canon),starting about 1979-80.

Wow..this brings back memories. Does anyone remember the small Eskofot coated paper copier which MOUNTED ON THE WALL? I sold a ga-zillion of them!! How about that Olivetti Copia 305 and 405 with those huge "toner boats." My dad actually worked for SCM for over 20 years and that was where I got my start. Great memories!!

Ken Scarborough
Wildwood, Texas

As I read the article, something didn't read quite right.
It was not "Singer-Friedman", but "Singer-Friden."
Quilters are dying to find the 3M Thermocopiers for just about nothing. The creative quilters are doing their own screen-printing.
This is still a good read.

Anonymous said...

I was in the St. Paul HQ of 3M and in Duplicating / Copying Products from '69 to '84. For part of that time I was the Advertising Manager, at other times in several middle management jobs. I remember the fateful decision to private label from Toshiba, which was, in hindsight, the death knell of the Division.


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I started with SCM in 1963 in Honolulu. SCM was king of the copier world back then. They had an excellent line of copiers, all the model numbers were double digits, 33, 44, 55, 111. The 55 was the first console with dual paper feeds and was the basis of three more spinoff models, the 111 and the 211 and the 412. Then in 1975, along came "black Friday" over a hundred branches were closed of sold to dealers. Their heyday was over. The Japanese came into the market and even though SCM sold several Minolta built boxes, it was too little and too late. My next adventure was into the dealer scenario and I was now dealing with plain paper boxes, a whole new universe. Royal (Konica) was the hot ticket in the late 70's. The RBC I, RBC II and RBC III sold like hotcakes, enter the Royfax 115. The first microprocessor controlled  copier. Simple, basic but ultra reliable. I was a Konica fan for a lot of years.

I became a Mita dealer in 1981 and although their machines were built like tanks, they didn't have any accessories. No reduction/enlargement, zoom, document feeder or even multiple paper feeds. They had a fairly solid product line but were behind the market. I had 18 employees working for me and it was a pressure cooker. I sold the business and decided to return to the islands and enjoy life.

I became a Panasonic dealer in 1986 and opened a store in Honolulu and thought I had the world by the tail. A recession and a divorce caused it to be a short term venture, and I came back to the mainland only to start over again as an independent, dealing in Mita, Konica, and Panasonic machines. I was a one man show and it was much more profitable as I didn't have to meet payroll every week, and I got to put more money in my pocket.

I've had the privilege of working with some of the best equipment over the years and consider myself fortunate to have retired to a wonderful community here in Arizona.

Nothing was "reliable" back then! Such a funky era of technology thinking back on it all. There were so many different physical configurations of copy machines back then. Each was a marvel of engineering chaos. I remember it well since the company that first hired me would work on anything they could get their hands on.

I worked on plenty of those SCMs and Saxons when I first started out. They both went from liquid to dry toner technology before their demise. Saxon put their name on the first Panasonics in the early 80s. 



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