Apple’s Five Most Important Printers

December 13th, 2009 by Benj Edwards

Apple's Five Most Important Printers

Younger computer fans may not know this, but for almost twenty years (1980-1999), Apple, Inc. sold Apple-brand printers for use with its computers — a fact that’s easy for us to forget today, ten years since Apple shipped its last printer.

That being so, Macworld recently asked me to write an article about Apple’s long history in the printer business. I was happy to take the assignment, of course, and a few days ago, Macworld published the result, titled “Apple’s Five Most Important Printers.” I structured the article along the same lines as the popular Mac laptops piece I did back in September.

In the course of writing the article, I learned more than I thought I’d ever know about Apple printers, and I enjoyed the research process quite a bit. Of particular interest was Apple’s original LaserWriter (1985, seen above), a famous peripheral that holds a monumentally important place in computer history.

I also created a companion slideshow of various Apple printers for Macworld, which you can see here. I hope you enjoy it.

3 Responses to “Apple’s Five Most Important Printers”

  1. Eagles409 Says:

    I still have my Imagewriter II, I used to make banners with it using Print Shop. good times….

  2. Jake Says:

    Wow, this slideshow makes me want to get an old Mac now. 🙂

    Very interesting.

  3. Rockin' Kat Says:

    I have my ImageWriter II hooked up to a switch which selects between my Apple IIgs, Mac ColorClassic, and Mac IIfx… and as soon as I replace the modem in my G4 tower with the serial port card I’ve got sitting in my desk drawer I’m going to hook it up to that too… I just have to figure out how the hell to make it work in OS X… I know there’s got to be some way to make it work. I could swear I’ve read of such crazyness having been done.

    Sometimes I make banners using PrintShop IIgs. I’ve got a special driver for Classic Mac OS that allows pretty much all software print in color using dithering… It supports 7.x and up… not so sure about 6.x.. I don’t do a lot with system 6. I have a big box full of sealed color and black ribbons for the printer… and a huge load of paper for it too.

    Other then that I also have an original ImageWriter and a LaserWriter 16/600PS. The laserwriter is the main printer on my home network and gets used a lot, it’s got the 500 sheet tray and the 50-envelope loader… do I need all stuff hooked up to the printer? not really… but the tray and envelope feeder only ran me $5 each used a couple years ago… the printer was $300 used back in 1998. It’s handy not to have to remember what way I have to insert the envelope to get it to print right and my mother uses it a lot when she prints envelopes for paying the bills.

    I have some other old dot matrix printers, but only my Apples are plugged in and ready to chug away.

    I wonder how hard it would be to find supplies for the Okidata Okimate 10 Commodore printer I recenlty found in box…

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