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Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks

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5

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WHEN THE ORIGINAL mimeograph machine—the first mechanical duplicator of written pages that was practical for office use—was put on the market by the A. B. Dick Company, of Chicago, in 1887, it did not take the country by storm. On the contrary, Mr. Dick—a former lumberman who had become bored with copying his price lists by hand, had tried to invent a duplicating machine himself, and had finally obtained rights to produce the mimeograph from its inventor, Thomas Alva Edison—found himself faced with a formidable marketing problem. “People didn’t want to make lots of copies of office documents,” says his grandson C. Matthews Dick, Jr., currently a vice-president of the A. B. Dick Company, which now manufactures a whole ...

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