Dick, A. B.

Dick, A. B. (Albert Blake)

(1856–1934) inventor, businessman; born in Bureau County, Ill. An agricultural implements salesman, in 1884 he opened a lumber company in Chicago. To ease the paperwork involved with inventorying stock, he invented a method for duplicating originals called the "autographic stencil." He sold the lumber yard in 1887 to collaborate with Thomas Edison in the invention of the Edison-Dick mimeograph. The A. B. Dick Company devoted all its resources to improving the machine; by the time of his death the mimeograph machine was almost entirely automatic and it dominated the field of office copying until the introduction of the xerographic process.