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A Look Back: The History of Sharp Australia and Their Photocopiers

Sharp Australia has played a pivotal role in the evolution of office technology, particularly in the photocopier industry. Understanding the journey of Sharp Australia not only highlights their contributions to technological advancements but also illustrates the evolution of photocopiers from simple document duplicators to complex, multifunctional devices that are integral to modern offices.

Origins of Sharp Australia

Sharp Corporation, the parent company of Sharp Australia, was founded in Japan in 1912 by Tokuji Hayakawa. The company initially focused on the production of metal writing instruments, which set the foundation for its future in precision electronics. It wasn’t until several decades later that Sharp would expand its operations internationally, establishing Sharp Australia as a key player in the Asia-Pacific market.

Entry into the Photocopier Market

Sharp’s venture into the photocopier market was marked by innovation and a drive to improve office efficiency. The company developed its first photocopier in the 1970s, a time when the global demand for fast and reliable copying machines was growing rapidly due to the expansion of businesses and increased office documentation needs.

Technological Innovations

Over the years, Sharp Australia has been at the forefront of several key developments in photocopier technology:

  1. Introduction of the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD):
    • In the 1980s, Sharp was one of the first companies to incorporate LCD panels into their copiers, revolutionizing the user interface and making the machines more user-friendly.
  2. Digital Multifunctional Systems:
    • The 1990s saw the transition from analog to digital photocopiers. Sharp Australia embraced this change by introducing multifunctional systems that could print, scan, and fax, in addition to copying. These devices were networked and could be integrated into the existing IT infrastructure of any business.
  3. Focus on Sustainability:
    • With the turn of the millennium, Sharp intensified its focus on eco-friendly technologies. Their photocopiers included energy-saving features, reduced hazardous materials, and improved recyclability, aligning with global environmental concerns.

Sharp Today

Today, Sharp Australia continues to innovate, pushing the boundaries of what photocopiers can do. The latest models are equipped with advanced security features, cloud connectivity, and mobile compatibility, reflecting the needs of the modern, digital workplace.

The Impact of Sharp’s Photocopiers

Sharp’s contributions to the photocopier industry have had a significant impact on how businesses operate. Their machines have helped streamline workflow, improve document security, and increase productivity, proving indispensable in offices around the world.


The history of Sharp Australia is a testament to the company’s enduring commitment to innovation and quality. From their early days to the present, Sharp has consistently led the way in photocopier technology, adapting to changes in the market and setting standards for the industry. As we look to the future, Sharp Australia is sure to continue this tradition of excellence and innovation in office technology.