Epson’s origins go back to 1942, when a company called Daiwa Kogyo, which was a local clock shop opened by Hisao Yamazaki.
An investment from the Hattori family, the founders of Seiko, helped Daiwa Kogyo expand into manufacturing watch parts and they began to open factories.
Initially the company was focused on manufacturing timepieces, but would later split into two separate companies, giving birth to the printing giant Epson.
The Beginning Of Epson Printers
Suwa Seikosha set up a company called Shinshu Seiki Co in 1961. This
company was a subsidiary that would supply intricate parts to Seiko
watches. The Seiko group was selected to be the time keeper of the 1964
Olympics in Tokyo and Shinshu began to develop and electronic printer
that would print out the timings of Olympic events.
September 1968 saw Shinshu launch the first ever mini-printer called the EP-101, in which the “EP” stands for Electronic Printer. The mini-printer was soon incorporated into many calculators, produced by the company, so calculations could be seen on printed paper and kept for future reference.
First Use Of Epson As A Brand
In 1975, the name Epson was used on the company’s next generation of printers. This was based on the name of the first EP-101 and SON meaning son of electronic printer.In April 1975 Epson America Inc was set up to sell printers for Shinshu Seiki Co.
The TX-80, an eighty column dot matrix printer was released in June 1978, which was mainly used as a system printer for Commodore PET computers. Two years later in 1980, an improved version of the printer, called the MX-80 was released. This soon became the bestselling printer in the USA.
Shinshu Seiki officially became the Epson Corporation in 1982,
launching the world’s first handheld computer in the same year, called
HX-20. This was followed by the launch of the world’s first portable
colour television, a year later in 1983.
Suwa Seikosha and the Epson Corporation merged in November 1985 and became the Seiko Epson Corporation.
The Seiko Epson Corporation went on to develop the Micro Piezo inkjet technology, which used a piezoelectric crystal, which was a feature of the Epson MJ-500 inkjet printer released in 1995. In 1994 Epson released the first ever high resolution inkjet printer. At the time 720 x 720 dpi was considered as high resolution and this is what the Epson Stylus P860A offered to the market, making use of its Micro Piezo head technology. Future models of the Stylus printer began to use Epson’s DURABrite ink and contain two hard drives.
Epson started to outsource their sales reps to retail stores in the
United States in 1994 and started a program called the Weekend Warrior
Sales Program. This program was introduced to improve the sales of
their, as well as enhance the sales reps knowledge of Epson’s products.
Sales reps were given weekend shifts with hours ranging from 12 – 20
In 2007 Epson ceased using outsourced sales reps, but did hire a company called ‘rack jobbers’ to make sure that their products were displayed correctly in a retail environment.
Nowadays the name Epson is synonymous with home and office printers
and it is likely that you will have seen one of their printers on the
shelves of any of the major electronics retailers.
With a rich history of innovation, this market leader will surely bring more technological advancements to the printing world in years to come.
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