Xerox’s First Commercial Copy Machine Came with a Fire Extinguisher [Geek History]

By Jason Fitzpatrick on April 21st, 2011

Xerox’s first commercially successful copy machine was introduced in 1959 and came with a feature you won’t find on many modern pieces of office equipment: a fire extinguisher to put it out when it–frequently–lit on fire.

The Xerox 914 was ground breaking at the time it was introduced, could make 136 copies per hour, and remains one of Xerox’s most successful products to date.

At the time of it’s release it was a wonder of modern office wizardry. It only had one significant flaw; the 914 was prone to overheating and would not, as modern machines do, shut down when overheated but instead often catch fire. This was so common an occurrence that the unit actually shipped with a companion fire extinguisher, which Xerox–with an impossible straight face, we can only imagine–called a “scorch eliminator”. You can’t make this stuff up.

Xerox 914 [Wikipedia via BoingBoing]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 04/21/11
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