--> Invention of the Printing Press
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Fascinating facts about the invention of the Printing Press
by Johannes Gutenberg in 1450.  
Basically, printing is the process of making multiple copies of a document by the use of movable characters or letters. The process was developed independently in China and Europe. Before the invention of printing, multiple copies of a manuscript had to be made by hand, a laborious task that could take many years. Printing made it possible to produce more copies in a few weeks than formerly could have been produced in a lifetime by hand. Invented by Johann Gutenberg in c1450, the printing press made the mass publication and circulation of literature possible. Derived from the presses farmers used to make olive oil, the first printing press used a heavy screw to force a printing block against the paper below.
An operator worked a lever to increase and decrease the pressure of the block against the paper. The invention of the printing press, in turn, set off a social revolution that is still in progress. The German printing pioneer Johannes Gutenberg solved the problem of molding movable type. Once developed, printing spread rapidly and began to replace hand-printed texts for a wider audience.
Thus, intellectual life soon was no longer the exclusive domain of church and court, and literacy became a necessity of urban existence. The printing press stoked intellectual fires at the end of the Middle Ages, helping usher in an era of enlightenment. This great cultural rebirth was inspired by widespread access to and appreciation for classical art and literature, and these translated into a renewed passion for artistic expression. Without the development of the printing press, the Renaissance may never have happened. Without inexpensive printing to make books available to a large portion of society, the son of John Shakespeare, a minor government official in rural England in the mid-1500s, may never have been inspired to write what are now recognized as some of history's greatest plays. What civilization gained from Gutenberg's invention is incalculable.

To Learn More

Johann es Gutenberg, Inventor Profile   from The Great Idea Finder
History of the Gutenberg Bible   from The Great Idea Finder

100 Inventions That Shaped World History
by Bill Yenne, Morton, Dr. Grosser (Editor) / Paperback - 112 pages (1983)
/ Bluewood Books 
This book contains inventions from all around the world from microchips to fire. This is a really good book if you are going to do research on inventions.

Popular Patents
by Travis Brown / Paperback - 224 pages / Scarecrow Press (September 1, 2000)
Eighty stories of America's first inventions. Each includes a sketch of the invention, a profile of the inventor and a glimpse of how the invention has found its way into American culture.

The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age
Sven P. Birkerts / Paperback / Fawcett Books -1985
Birkerts, a renowned critic, examines the practice of reading with an eye to what the future will bring. Fine Print : A Story About Johann Gutenberg
Joann Johnson Burch / Paperback - 64 pages / Carolrhoda Books - 1992
This interesting book about Gutenberg's struggles to complete and perfect his printing
process gives a vivid picture of life in the Middle Ages.

The Gutenberg Bible : Landmark in Learning
by James E. Thorpe / Hardcover - 48 pages 2nd edition (1997) / H E Huntington Library & Art
The Huntington Library holds one of the three vellum copies of the Gutenberg Bible in the United States. Details the early history of printing and how the Gutenberg Bible was printed. .

Gutenberg (Limited availability.)
Leonard Everett Fisher / Library Binding - 28 pages / Simon & Schuster - 19

Fisher's biography of Johann Gutenberg, the creator of movable type and the printer of the Gutenberg Bible, is marked by careful research, clear writing, and striking illustrations.

Landmark Inventions of the Millennium by Herb Brody
The last 1,000 years have produced an incredible number and variety of scientific and technological breakthroughsbut which of these were the most important?
(URL: encarta.msn.com/EncartaHome.asp)
Johannes Gutenberg and The Printed Book
The printing press had developed from the wine press in the Rhine Valley. It was there in 1440 that Johannes Gutenberg (c.1397-1468) began using the printing press in conjunction with a series of blocks each bearing a single letter on its face.
(URL: www.iath.virginia.edu/elab/hfl0228.html
Invention of the Printing Press
Printing has an illustrious history starting when Gutenberg built the first press in 1436.
(URL: www.dotprint.com/fgen/history1.htm)
Project Gutenberg
Fine Literature Digitally Re-Published
(URL: www.gutenberg.net)
Johannes Gutenberg Biography
A2The Bible published by Fust is still known as Gutenberg's Bible and for the sake of
posterity, he has been hailed as the inventor of the printing press.
(URL: top-biography.com/9122-Gutenberg/ataglance.htm)

The Catholic Encyclopedia
Detail on the Gutenberg bible. Henne G=E4nsfleisch zur Laden, commonly called Gutenberg
(URL: www.newadvent.org/cathen/07090a.htm)
Gutenberg College
Its "great books" curriculum emphasizes the development of basic learning skills (reading, writing, mathematics, and critical thinking) and the application of these skills to profound writings of the past.
(URL: www.mckenziestudycenter.org/guten/)
Johannes Gutenberg - "Man of the Millennium"
in honor of his invention, Gutenberg was recently chosen by an international panel of scientists as the "most outstanding personality of the millennium."
(URL: www.germany-tourism.de/e/1586.html)
History of the Gutenberg Bible
The Gutenberg Bible, may have been finished and perfected by Johann Fust, a wealthy financier who gained Gutenberg's share of the business in a lawsuit.
(URL: orb.rhodes.edu/encyclop/culture/books/medbook2.html)
History of Printing
Printing has an illustrious history starting when Gutenberg built the first press in 1436, PIERRE DE LA MARE begins a series on the history of print.
History of Printed Books
Medieval and Renaissance Book Production - Printed Books
(URL: orb.rhodes.edu/encyclop/culture/books/medbook2.html)
Gutenberg Apprentice Speaks
Peter Schoeffer, once an apprentice to Gutenberg and now partner in his own business. explains what fueled the invention of the printing press. School project.

Reference Sources in BOLD Type This page revised August 15th, 2002.
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