Johannes Gutenberg and the Printing Press by Diana ChildressIn the 1430s, German goldsmith Johannes Gutenberg began experimenting with printing from handset type casts. He later used his expertise to develop a printing press with movable type, a machine that added great speed, quality, and economy to the printing process. Gutenbergs printing developments coincided with other circumstances (such as the abundance of paper supplies and a growing middle-class with time and money to collect books) to create a pivotal point in Western history. For its part in providing literature and information to the masses, Gutenbergs press is regarded as key to the European Renaissance and as one of the greatest inventions of the second millenium.
The Machine That Made Us (Gutenberg Printing Press Documentary) - Timeline
Johannes Gutenberg and the Printing Press: Social & Cultural Impact
Johannes Gutenberg , in full Johann Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg , born 14th century, Mainz [Germany]—died probably February 3, , Mainz , German craftsman and inventor who originated a method of printing from movable type. Unique elements of his invention are thought to have included a metal alloy that could melt readily and cool quickly to form durable reusable type, an oil-based ink that could be made sufficiently thick to adhere well to metal type and transfer well to vellum or paper, and a new press, likely adapted from those used in producing wine, oil, or paper, for applying firm even pressure to printing surfaces. None of these features existed in Chinese or Korean printing, in the European technique used up to that time for stamping letters on various surfaces, or in woodblock printing. Johannes Gutenberg is famous for having designed and built the first printing press to incorporate movable type and mechanized inking and for using his invention to produce the Gutenberg Bible. Books and other printed matter consequently became available to a wide general audience, greatly contributing to the spread of literacy and education in Europe.
The history of the printing press is a fascinating one and is one that ultimately led to our modern world. The printing press is one of the most important inventions of all time. Its development would destroy the hegemonic control of information in Europe and change the course of history forever. The quick, cheap and easy distribution of information would ultimately lead to the Protestant Reformation more on this later , the Renaissance , the Scientific Enlightenment , and Industrial Revolution. A printing press is any form of technology that applies pressure between an inked surface and a print medium like paper or cloth.
When Was the Printing Press Invented?
Johannes Gutenberg c. His technological innovations, which included punch-cutting, matrix-fitting, type-casting, composing, and printing, was used nearly unchanged for three centuries after his death. Johannes Gensfleisch zum Gutenberg was born between and in Mainz, in what is today Germany. An "official birthday" of June 24, , was chosen at the time of a th Anniversary Festival held in Mainz in , but that is symbolic. What information about his early life is limited to court documents—and sources are limited in usefulness because his surname, like many people of the time, was a reference to the building or property he lived in, and so changed according to his residence.
The printing press is a device that allows for the mass production of uniform printed matter, mainly text in the form of books, pamphlets and newspapers. Created in China and revolutionizing society there, the press was further developed in Europe in the 15th Century. No one knows when the first printing press was invented, or who invented it, but the oldest known printed text originated in China during the first millennium A. The Diamond Sutra was created with a method known as block printing, which utilized panels of hand-carved wood blocks in reverse. Some other texts have survived from Dunhuang as well, including a printed calendar from around A. It was during this period of early printing that rolled-up scrolls began to be replaced by book-formatted texts.
Amanda is a retired educator with many years of experience teaching children of all ages and abilities in a wide range of contexts. Many events in human history are of great importance for the way we live today. Johannes Gutenberg's invention of the "movable type" printing press is one of the most important. It is possible that without it there would have been no Renaissance, no Industrial Revolution, no Technological Revolution and no modern, western Democracy. In other words - no modern world at all! While primitive forms of printing had been invented a long time before in ancient China and good quality paper had been available for some time in Europe modern America still hadn't been invented!