TONER IS ONE of those ordinary items we as a whole underestimate. At the point when the printer runs low you pop another cartridge in—out of the picture, therefore irrelevant. Indeed, we got to pondering what's entirely that cartridge … so we busted one open. Awful thought! (More on that later.) But we're altogether tidied up now and back with answers.

Turns out toner is for the most part powdered plastic—and that is critical to the entire innovation. Plastic has two convenient properties: You can move it around like enchantment with electricity produced via friction, and after that you can soften it onto the paper for fresh, smear evidence pictures. This tech­nique of printing with powder rather than ink is called xerography (xeros is Greek for "dry"), and it works the same whether you're printing or replicating. Indeed, Gary Starkweather designed the laser printer at Xerox in 1969, in a well known piece of maverick building, by modding one of the organization's office copiers.