Johannes Gutenberg and the Printing Press
Can one invention really change the world? Before the mid-fifteenth century, books were printed by hand, making them rare and expensive. Reading and learning remained a privilege of the wealthy—until Johannes Gutenberg developed a machine called the printing press. Gutenberg, a German metalworker, began in the 1440s by making movable type—small metal letters that were arranged to form words and sentences, replacing handwritten letters. Movable type fit into frames on the printing press, and the press then produced many copies of the same page. As movable type and the printing press made book production much faster and less expensive, reading material of all kinds became available to a far wider audience. In Gutenberg’s time, Europe was already on the brink of a new age—an explosion of world exploration, scientific discoveries, and political and religious changes. Gutenberg’s printing press helped propel Europe into the modern era, and his legacy remains in the thousands of books and newspapers printed each year to keep us informed, entertained, and connected. Indeed, Gutenberg’s development of the printing press became one of history’s pivotal moments.
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Gutenberg In Strasbourg
Chapter Three The Invention Of Printing
Chapter Four The Return To Mainz
Chapter Five The Spread Of Printing
Chapter Six The Print Revolution
Primary Source Research
A Passage From Gutenbergs Bible
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Andreas’s archbishop archbishop of Mainz begin printing block book printed calendar Catholicon Catholicon type century Chinese church colophon compositor copies Diamond Sutra DK type documents earliest early Eltville Erfurt Europe European fifteenth fifteenth-century France Friele Fust and Schöffer Fust’s German guild members gulden Gutenberg Bible Gutenberg printed Gutenberg was born Gutenberg’s invention handwritten books Hof zum Gutenberg hundred gulden indulgences invention of printing Italy Jenson Johann Fust Johannes Gutenberg Johannes’s King Taejong later Latin letters lines Mainz City Mainz Psalter manuscript modern mold monasteries movable type paper or vellum patricians perhaps Peter Schöffer Pi Sheng Piccolomini pieces of type plate pope printed books printers printing press printing the Bible printing with movable produced punch quires religious return to Mainz Rhine Roman Saint scholars scribes script secondary sources sheet of paper spread Strasbourg surviving thousand took town trade type Gutenberg vellum woodblock workers writing