Making Copies

Think back to when you needed to share maps before the Internet. Did that give you the heebie jeebies? Now think back to when you needed to share maps before the invention of the copier. It has been 50 years since the invention of the Xerox copier in 1960. Back then academics were still debating the impact of the USE OF A PHOTO COPY MACHINE IN MAP REPRODUCTION in the AAG Professional Geographer. Patents, such as this copy machine table United States Patent 4066023 described the map copying process as “Before my invention, it was impractical to copy specific portions of large maps, surveys, blueprints, or plats on a standard office copying machine because the surface of most copying machines was insufficient to permit such large sheets being copied to be spread out. Consequently, the sheet had to be folded, or allowed to drape over the edge of the copy machine.” Which explains the convoluted directions for How to Use Your Copy Machine as a Draftsman and this really cool book from 1982 on Thematic Maps: Their Design and Production. Many people would argue whether copiers make life better or not but it is only a matter of time before something more complicated and just as aggravating but necessary comes along.