I am a self-described fan of pop culture, so I (like many others) have been counting the days to the return of Mad Men. Yesterday Mad Men returned after a too-long hiatus, and so did one of my favorite characters – the Xerox 914. It was a big deal (literally) when it first arrived, back in the first episode of season two:
“It’s much bigger than they said it was. I think it needs an office.” – Joan
She’s right – it was a big piece of technology at the start. As the world’s very first fully automated, plain-paper copier, it initially weighed a whopping 648 pounds. In this episode, the copier spent several days sitting in the middle of the office (and being curiously gawked at by the agency’s employees), before being relocated to copywriter Peggy’s office, much to her dismay – especially when she walked in to find one of the ad men copying his face. Not surprisingly, Ned the Xerox repairman was not too happy about this misuse of the machinery (see above video).
The Xerox 914 was more than just a piece of new technology for these ad executives; it changed the way offices work, making it significantly faster to duplicate documents (be it advertisements or otherwise) and making everyone’s office lives a whole lot easier.
Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of Newsweek, even makes reference to this idea in her column in last week’s 60s-inspired special issue. When looking back on some of the things that made a splash in Newsweek’s 1960s coverage, she writes, “The office psychodramas in ‘Mad Men’ ran parallel with a serial melodrama in the news that Newsweek covered with panache…even the dominance of that new tech phenomenon the Xerox machine.”
Printers and copiers have certainly gotten a lot lighter, faster and more multi-function since the debut of the Xerox 914, but Xerox still remains an important member of the office staff through offerings like managed print services (MPS). In fact, Xerox was just named the market leader for managed print services in a recent IDC report. We’ve helped businesses save millions of dollars by offering the tools, support, security and processes to simplify the way work is done and uncover hidden print costs.
I hope that I get to see more of the Xerox 914 this season – maybe it will even help win a new account for my friends at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.