Ink Cartridge: Evolution and Usage

by : Samuel Hary



Ink Cartridge is a cartridge or a container with spools of ink supply for a device like printer. A seemingly non existent device, its presence is missed when one is required to print an important document and the printer displays 'Replace cartridge' note. If you own an printer like almost every other office building or establishment in UK and numerous homes, schools, labs etc., then you would need to buy ink cartridges once in a while when your printer runs out of ink supply.

Like pens need an ink refill, printers would need their ink cartridge. Printers are nothing but a mechanised version of a pen. Albeit, they are automated, electronic and much more efficient and productive than manual pens. Pens, nevertheless, are expressions of human creativity while printers replicate as many copies required! Printers come in many forms and versions, they may be black or white or colour. The difference between a black or white printer and the colour printer lies in the cartridge. Like an ink refills for pens the ink supply of the printer is in the cartridge. Companies like hp, Xerox, Lexmark, EPSON, Canon manufacture ink cartridges which may contain an exclusive black ink. In this case, with black ink cartridge, the documents produced will be black and white. However, with a colour ink cartridge the documents produced will be colour.

Printing press and invention of paper are considered great invention in the history of human civilisation. Paper is widely believed to be invented in China. China also contributed ink made from pine smoke, lamp oil and gelatine as the wikipedia states. History of writing dates back even further than history of ink or paper. Chisel marks on rocks still speak of human endeavour to express them in a more tangible and lasting form than spoken words. These days we have moved to another sublime medium - the electronic page with memory and virtual 'ink'. These days electronic mediums and printers are found everywhere. Some of the major manufacturer of printers like HP, Xerox, Lexmark and EPSON are sold with ink cartridges which need to be replaced by the ink cartridge supplied by the manufacturer when the cartridge runs out of ink.