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Monday, July 12, 2010

The Machine Nobody Wanted

Chester Carlson was ecstatic. He had invented something that would make a difference. His idea worked! But then, according to Ira Flatow, author of the book, THEY ALL LAUGHED, each company, to whom he took he took his invention, rejected it outright. These included IBM, GE, and RCA.

Carlson stayed at it. He tinkered with his machine for five years, making it better. Still, no one was interested.

Finally, even Carlson’s wife was put out with it all. She divorced her husband, tired of seeing too little of him.

Then everything changed. He met a man named John Dessauer. Dessauer was with a small company in New York. Their interests paralleled those of Chester Carlson. The company bought a license to use Carlson’s patent. In time, Dessauer’s company changed its name—to Xerox.

It would still take over 15 years for Carlson’s machine—the photocopier—to catch on. Carlson ultimately would earn and give away a hundred million dollars.

Hebrews11 talks about a number of people who, like Carlson, could see the unseen. Unlike Carlson, they did not reap the reward in this lifetime, but they would in eternity. The writer of Hebrews, likewise, challenges us to put our faith in that which we cannot see.

Will we?

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