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This Week in Tech History: Xerox Heads to the Smithsonian

Transatlantic communication is established, Thomas Edison changes the we answer the phone, and a revolutionary office machine makes its way to the Smithsonian… It all happened This Week in Tech History.

This week in 1858 – U.S. President James Buchanan inaugurated the new transatlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. However, a weak signal forced a shutdown of the service just a few weeks later.

1877 – Thomas Edison wrote to the president of the Telegraph Company in Pittsburgh, PA. The letter stated that the word, “hello” would be a more appropriate greeting when answering the telephone than “ahoy,” which was suggested by Alexander Graham Bell.

1964 – Syncom 3, the first geostationary communication satellite, was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The satellite, in orbit near the International Date Line, had the addition of a wideband channel for television and was used to broadcast the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo back to the United States.

And this week in 1985 – The machine that revolutionized the world’s offices, the original Xerox 914 copier, took its place among the honored machines of other eras at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. The document copier had been formally introduced to the world in March of 1960. In just twenty-five years, the machine, invented by patent lawyer Chester Carlson, had become obsolete enough to make it into the museum.

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Written by Chris Graveline

Chris has covered consumer technology for over 20 years. He is the host of This Week in Tech History as well as a regular co-host on "Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline" and our Technical Director.

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