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Astoria Street Co-Named After Xerox Founder

(Council Member Costa Constantinides)

Oct. 29, 2019. By Shane O’Brien 

A portion of 37th Street has been co-named Chester Carlson Way in honor of the co-founder of Xerox who pioneered modern photocopying in Astoria more than 80 years ago.

The co-naming ceremony was held on Friday, Oct. 25 on the corner of 37th Street and Broadway, where the new street sign is located. Council Member Costa Constantinides hosted the sign’s unveiling.

Carlson rented a room at 32-05 37th St. in his mother-in-law’s house, which has since been demolished. He transformed that room into a makeshift laboratory where he developed the process of dry photocopying, which for the first time didn’t rely on liquid chemicals to make a duplicate.

On Oct. 22, 1938, Carlson successfully photocopied the words, “10.-22.-38 ASTORIA” using his new technology.

Carson’s technology eventually led to the invention of the Xerox 914, which in 1959 became the first commercial photocopier.

Carson died in 1968 and didn’t remain in Astoria as Xerox developed deeper ties with Rochester, New York and Silicon Valley, California. However, his first photocopy was arguably one of his most significant.

Constantinides said that Carlson’s invention had placed Astoria at the front of the technological revolution.

“Astoria may have changed in the 81 years since it was Xeroxed into history, but today we paid permanent tribute to the transformation that started right here in western Queens,” Constantinides said.

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5 Comments

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Bob Singleton

This article is incorrect – the lab was the second floor of 32-05 st – the building is still very much there with cosmetic changes. My dentist had it as an office for years.

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Buck May

Say it ain’t so. I live far from NYC now but grew up in Astoria in the 1950s. A wonderful place then…with a thriving Steinway Street as the very heart of the “town.” It was the days of the Astoria and Loew’s Triboro theatres, every clothing merchant imaginable, delicious hot dog lunches al fresco — and a very special place in my heart, the Kopp Animal Hospital at 25-64. RIP Howard J. Kopp, my second dad in that earlier time. The years are like a bandit, stealing from you things that are most cherished. Savor every day.

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Kinkos

If you photocopy a photocopy, the quality of that photocopy goes down, like the quality of life in Astoria.

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pat macnamara

clueless Costa needed to walk to Steinway street and look at the shuttered stores and homeless encampments. Total useless political hack-with his solar panels, street signs, and a dog run. He wants to be Borough President and morons will vote for him

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