Archive for October, 2011
In 2000, David G. Jorgensen became Chairman of Katun Corporation, the imaging supplies company that he co-founded in 1979. Katun grew to become the largest supplier of alternative OEM parts for photocopiers. Over the course of the nation’s history, some great inventions have been born from the minds and hands of a group of creative inventors.
In other cases, a life-changing device, practice, or idea can be traced back to an individual. While many have improved on the photocopier’s design and efficacy over time, only Chester Carlson can take credit for the advent of photocopying in 1938.
A patent attorney, researcher, and inventor, Carlson often found himself making dozens of copies of important papers. But this laborious work aggravated his arthritis, leading him to experiment with photoconductivity. After a few years of work performed in his kitchen, Carlson experienced a breakthrough. Covering a zinc plate with sulfur, Carlson slid a microscope slid bearing an engraving on top of yet more sulfur and placed beneath a light. When he removed the slide, an exact image of the words remained behind.
The part-time inventor immediately put his full-time knowledge of patents to use and filed a patent for the process that he called electrophotography. Astonishingly, Carlson had a difficult time selling his method. After more than 20 rejections, Carlson evaluated his process and decreed it underdeveloped. Most major organizations like IBM and General Electric used time-proven methods and saw no need for Carlson’s fledgling technology. In 1944, the Battelle Memorial Institute reached out to Carlson and asked him to let them help refine his electrophotography process. Several years and dozens of experiments later, a small New York-based photographic paper seller wished to obtain a license to use the now-developed technology. There was just a problem with the name.
Deeming “electrophotography” too complicated and unintuitive, Carlson worked with the corporation’s leaders to come up with a new name, xerography, derived from Greek words that meant “dry writing.” With the new name in place, the corporation, Haloid, created copier machines that incorporated the technology, dubbing them Xerox machines. In 1948, the term “Xerox” was trademarked, and the Xerox Corporation was born.
My name is David G. Jorgensen. I was a co-founder of Katun Corporation and CEO of Dataquest, Inc. I now devote much of my time to philanthropic activities and support for organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the largest health organization devoted exclusively to Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. The Association provides support from the local to the global level. One of the organization’s primary goals is to offer care and support to those suffering from the disease. In order to meet this goal, the nonprofit has established chapters throughout the country and offers a professionally staffed 24/7 telephone helpline that can be translated into 170 different languages. The Association also leads more than 4,500 support groups, produces more than 20,000 educational programs, and matches people with free clinical trials. In order to expand knowledge of the disease, the Alzheimer’s Association also houses the Green-Field Library.
In addition to providing care, the Association advances research, as it is the largest nonprofit funder for research into Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, the organization has played a role in every major research over the last three decades. The Association offers a peer-reviewed research grant program, which has granted more than $279 million to nearly 2,000 scientists since 1982. Each year, thousands of researchers present at the Alzheimer’s International Conference and many publish in the scientific journal, Alzheimer’s & Dementia. The Association also has a professional society called the Alzheimer’s Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment, where scientists and researchers can get together and discuss.
The Association also plays a crucial role as an advocator. The organization’s goal is to make the disease and its cure a national priority. In order to do so, the Association coordinates policy resources like Alzheimer’s disease Facts and Figures that educate politicians and policy makers. The group also holds an annual march on Capitol Hill to talk with elected representatives.
Learn more about this honorable group by visiting www.alz.org.