101 Things Birmingham Gave The World. No. 40: Photocopying your arse



1779: James Watt patents a copying press or ‘letter copying machine’ to deal with the mass of paper work at his business; he also invents an ink to work with it. This is the first widely used copy machine for offices and is a commercial success, being used for over a century. This letter copying press is considered to be the original photocopier. [Source: Wikipedia]

1779 Dec 15th: At the Lunar Society Xmas party, Matthew Boulton was seen removing his britches in the vicinity of the machine. [Source: Knowledge of how humans work]

Only one of those statements is recorded in the history books, but we’re saying both are definitely true.


Happy Christmas.


Photo by Martin Deutsch

Author: Jon Bounds

14th Most Influential Person in the West Midlands 2008, subsequently not placed. His new book about visiting every seaside pier in England and Wales — Pier Review — has been described as “On the Road meets On the Buses”, it's out now. Jon wrote and directed the first ever piece of drama to be performed on Twitter and founded the famous blog Birmingham: It's Not Shit.