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Definition: photocopier


A machine that makes a duplicate of a paper document. Xerox invented the photocopy process, which scans a sheet of paper to capture an image of its contents. The first Xerox copiers in the late 1950s were analog and used a mirror to reflect the image onto the drum. Subsequent copiers became digital scanners that are also used to transfer documents into digital files on the computer.

An Actual "Copy of a Photo"
Machines in the early 1900s from the Rectigraph Company and Photostat Corporation created an actual photograph of the document. See Xerox and computers are copy machines.