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Chester Carlson

( American physicist, inventor)

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Biography Chester Carlson
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Carlson Chester (Chester F. Carlson) (8.II.1906 - 19.IX.1968) - American physicist and inventor, developed a method of dry electrostatic printing, later received the name "xerography" (from the Greek words "xeros" - dry and "graphos" - letter).

Chester Carlson was born Feb. 8, 1906 in Seattle. Family of Chester was a little burdened with special wealth, and for this reason to fourteen years in the future earnings of the inventor was almost the only source of livelihood of the whole family. Yet, despite such a dismal financial condition, Chester still managed to unlearn in college in Riverside (California), and in 1930 received a bachelor's degree in physics from California Institute of Technology. One can only imagine what it was worth Chester Carlson and the more he followed, trying to get an education. In any case, as a result of all this has resulted in quite a round sum - 1400 dollars, the money at that time considerable. It should be noted that during the Great Depression gripped America in those years, the work was very hard. In an effort to find a livelihood and to pay the debt for education, a young bachelor of physics has sent letters to find work in the 82 (!) Addresses. Received two responses. And not a single job:

In the end, Carlson was able to get an engineer in the New York research laboratory with Bell. For 35 dollars a week. However, the good times soon ended, and Chester has again been out of work. And then fate would have it make a zigzag, which in the future, completely changed the lives of not only of Chester Carlson, but led eventually to the emergence of the copier. Although initially, it would seem, all evolved not so good. Bullied out of work, Carlson, finally, was able to get the company PRMallory, famous for its electric batteries. All would be good, if not for one thing - there was no available engineering positions, and Chester led the company's patent department. Lack of education had to fill the evening studying at law school.

In a new job, Chester Carlson was faced with a problem that, apparently, and had tormented a generation of patent, but his solutions are not found. The fact that work often required copies of patents. At that time there were two ways to obtain a copy of the original. First - Photocopying. Method sufficiently long time, besides requiring treatment in the lab. Second - rewriting or retyping the document text and reproduction of the annex drawings. Two - a very time-consuming and inconvenient. Unlike his predecessors, Carlson was absolutely convinced that there must be some other, more convenient way to copy. That's only what? That's the inventor of puzzled. Of course, it would be nice if, as often happens in the movies, the decision came immediately, and would have remained only to put it into practice. Everything in life is much more difficult.

With patience, Carlson spent all his free time in the New York Public Library and several months later was probably the most knowledgeable in matters of photocopying man in New York. Shoveled tons of literature and hundreds of scientific articles on photographic processes, Chester did not come to an acceptable solution. No, something, of course, was, but Carlson needed a fast process, not too expensive and well reproduces the original image. In search of new solutions Chester became deeper into the phenomenon of photoconductivity. It was quite a new direction, open a Hungarian scientist, Paul Selenium (Paul Selenyi). The essence of the phenomenon was a change in the electrical conductivity of some materials when light falls on them.

Being a physicist by education, Chester Carlson made the assumption that the fall of light on the electrical conductivity of these materials the surface varies in different ways, depending on the illumination of a specific area. In other words, the conductivity of brightly lit areas of higher conductivity than the unlit areas, and therefore, the distribution of surface conductivity of the material repeats the projected image. It remains only to show. However, as we know, a brilliant idea, which came to the scientist, to put it into real life as an engineer - a huge distance ". Fortunately, Chester Carlson were united in itself and the scientific and engineering principle, but because it inspired the idea, started its implementation.

The place of the first experiments was the inventor's own kitchen in his New York apartment, a favorite "lab range" many scientists. It was in the kitchen Chester Carlson and conducted the first experiments that laid the basic principles of what has been called his "electrophotography". In October 1937, the inventor got his first patent. However, the practical realization of the idea was not so very close: Soon weary of the constant wife of experiments in the kitchen and her husband scuffling with strange devices. And it's true, what a housewife tolerate in their kitchens "scientific disorder inherent in the experimental work of a scientist. I note in passing that over time the wife still divorced, and I bet that his wife is probably bitterly regretted his impatience, when Carlson's invention made millionaire:

. But be that as it may, Chester had to look for a new place to continue the experiments
. Help came from: Tiffany's. It is allowed to place a laboratory in the back room belonged to her beauty salon in New York hotel "Astoria". Suffer from arthritis scientist, who has already be fed up with endless tedious experiments, he took to help the unemployed German physicist named Otto Corneille (Otto Kornei).

And here it is October 22, 1938, considered the birthday of the first copies. On this day, Otto Corneille took zinc plate, carefully covered with finely ground sulfur. Sulfur, as is known, is an insulator, but it turns out, when strong light irradiation, it begins to conduct electricity. Although it is very bad. Triggered effect photoconductivity. So, . this plate, . to give it an initial charge, . experimenter rubbed his own handkerchief, . and then in a completely darkened room lit up bright beam of light, . falls through a glass plate with an opaque ink inscription "10-22-38 Astoria",
. After that, the "lighted" plate was emptied the pinch of lycopodium spores (another name for the plant, Lycopodium clavatum, its spores, the smallest weightless powder, used in medicine as a pill, and sprinkled in the powders). Aura disputes were blow from the surface of the plate and: it remained barely visible inscription "10-22-38 Astoria" from adhering to the plate dispute. To preserve the inscriptions Chester Carlson invented a cover plate with the inscription wax paper and heat it. Disputes stuck to the wax, and the inscription manifested. The first copy, if you can take picture of the dispute, was ready.

Needless to say, that this inventor's tribulations did not end: After the experimental sample was very far from perfect and could not be used for practical purposes. The theory has been confirmed, but the practice required further investments, which in Chester Carlson at that time was not much. Otto Corneille, who had not seen the future prospects of work, soon left her obsessed with the idea of the inventor, and found work at IBM. However, I must pay tribute to Chester Carlson, later, when it became possible, it is well rewarded his first mate:

But back to the end of the 30-ies. Do not assume that the representatives of various companies downright swell pushed to the laboratory Carlson, beseeching him for any money to open secret "electrophotography". Not at all. For five years, from 1939 to 1944, the inventor was denied funding of their research in more than 20 companies. Among them were such giants of the industry, . as IBM, . Kodak, . General Electric: True, . November 22, 1940 in The New York Times appeared a small article about a new method of obtaining images with electrostatic charge, . but weather she did,
.

Helped, as often happens, the case. Once in the patent department of the company PRMallory, where he continued to work Chester Carlson, the doctor looked Dayton Russell (Dr. Russell W. Dayton). In general, on matters related to the acquisition of rights to a number of patents the company. Chester kept his head and referred to his patents to the open way to obtain copies of. The visitor has expressed interest: In a word, soon Chester Carlson made an agreement with Battelle Memorial Institute, which resulted in the investigations initiated by Carlson, continued. By the end of World War II worked on the project has a group of researchers, headed by Roland Shafertom (Roland M. Schaffert). First of all, has been redesigned photoresistive plate - sulfur substituted for selenium, the material has a higher photoconductivity. Another year was spent on the development of a corona discharge device, which served two functions: it charged the plate and the image transfer on paper.

Another technical challenge was the development of "dry ink", later known as "toner". Disputes lycopodium, who gave a very blurred image have been replaced with a mixture of fine iron, ammonium chloride and plastic. The image became clearer and clear. The trouble was that commercialization of inventions.

January 2, 1947 representatives of Battelle Memorial Institute signed a license agreement to use a new method of obtaining images from a small company from Rochester, which bore the name "halo" (Haloid Company). October 22, 1948 (exactly 10 years from the date of successful experience in "Astoria") held its first public demonstration of a new copier, copiers and first came to market in 1949. They were very imperfect and demanded the execution of the user 14 (!) Of various operations to make a single copy. On average, it took about 45 seconds.

At the same time, the company "halo", look for more sonorous name of the clumsy term "electrophotography", agreed with the name "xerography". He suggested that a certain professor from Ohio, accounting for a new term from two Greek words: "xeros" - dry and "graphos" - letter. The first replica was named XeroX Model A. Bukovka "X" at the end of the word has been added to make it somewhat resembled the name of Kodak, another company of Rochester. The word got so successful that the company itself "halo" from 1958 became known as the "halo Xerox, and since 1961 it even easier -" Xerox. The term "xerography" forgotten, but the word "Xerox" has become a common noun to describe copiers.

This success came to copiers of "halo" in 1959, when it was released a fully automatic copier model 914 (the name comes from the size of a standard sheet of paper 9h14 inches, with whom he worked, Copier).

And what about the inventor? About him not forgotten. For his invention of Chester Carlson earned $ 150 million (that was killing, probably, had left him little woman:), giving almost 100 million of them to charity.

Chester Carlson died Sept. 19, 1968, right during a walk in 57 street in New York. Died, having lived a difficult life, realizing his dream into reality, achieving the practical realization of his ideas, what is not so often happens.


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Chester Carlson, photo, biography
Chester Carlson, photo, biography Chester Carlson  American physicist, inventor, photo, biography
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