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Ink Cartridges: A Brief History

Aug 17, 2007
I use ink cartridges in my printer and you probably do as well. The advent of inexpensive inkjet home printers in recent years has created a world where most of us have ink cartridges. Did you ever wonder what the history of these handy containers of ink might be? How did we come from the days of ink wells and feather quills to printing everything possible, even photographs, right in our homes?

Before 1984, ink cartridges were unknown. While printers had been around for years, they all used either difficult-to-install ribbons or messy toner cartridges. Changing these devices was a messy job that often ruined business attire worn by the unfortunate person stuck making the change. The delivery of the inking agent as unreliable at best; and the paper jams plagued the dot matrix printer to such an extent that the industry began to see other solutions for ink delivery and printing.

Of course, back in those days, few people yet had a computer at home, much less a printer of any kind. As a result, there was no need for ink cartridges in the home.

By the late 1980's the development of inkjet technology and the associated drop-in ink cartridges began to change the face of printing. The reduction in cost and increase in computing power of computers added a personal computer of some type to most homes by the early 1990's. With the addition of computers to the home, the need for less expensive home printing equipment arose and the demand was met by lower pricing of inkjet technology, making it within the budget of most technology-oriented homes to own a home printer.

Today, most homes that want to own a computer have one or more as well as printer hardware. While laser jet printers are often used in business, the inkjet technology has driven the home market due to the low cost to print per page. The ink cartridge technology allows users to install cartridges without having to have a degree in Integrated Technology to successfully accomplish the process. In fact, dropping in a new or recycled ink cartridge occurs millions of times each day across the globe.

The ink cartridges and inkjet technology available today allow home users, schools, small businesses and even high technology industries to easily print both black and white and full-color graphics, documents, and other printed material. The ability to print business cards, address labels, glossy photographs on special paper, and even postage stamps at home has literally changed the way the world does business today.

Each printer uses a specific ink cartridge or set of cartridges. Usually, the printer will require one ink cartridge for black, the most commonly used color, and another for color printing. These cartridges can be purchased new, or to save money and the environment, remanufactured and refilled. They can be found manufactured by the same company as the printing hardware or manufactured by after-market companies. Shop for quality, as well as a good price, when you choose an ink cartridge replacement for your home printer.
About the Author
Mr James has owned The Cartridge
Specialists
(Melbourne) since 2004 selling ink,
toner, fax rolls
etc & regularly writes articles about his industry
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