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The history of the printing press

Print plays a very significant part in our daily lives.

Books, weekly magazines, newspapers and other printed materials provide us with vital knowledge about daily events and educate us.

Thanks to the power of print, we can understand our culture and each other better than ever before.

But who, when and where did it start? Join us on a historical journey of the printing press…

What is a printing press?

The printing press is one of the most influential innovations of all time, fundamentally altering how civilisation has evolved and developed.

The printing press is a device that produces multiple copies of texts, mainly in the form of books, pamphlets and newspapers – it means that people no longer need to manually create additional copies. The introduction of the printing press allowed for a new way of thinking, changing the way people could learn and share knowledge.

Johannes Gutenberg and his invention

Inventor Johannes Gutenberg was a political exile from Mainz, Germany when he began experimenting with printing in Strasbourg, France in 1440. By 1450, he had his printing machine perfected and ready to use commercially. This was the Gutenberg press.

However, he was by no means the first person to automate the printing of books. Before Gutenberg, Korean bookmakers were using moveable metal types to manufacture books, while woodblock printing in China dates back to the ninth century.

Even though Gutenberg was not the inventor of the printing press, it is important not to diminish his contribution to society. Thanks to Gutenberg, he made it widely accessible and affordable.

How the printing press changed the world

The printing press is one of the most important inventions in history. It was not only a significant advancement for literature and art, but it also had political implications that shaped history. This invention, which allowed texts to be produced faster than ever before, resulted in a significant rise in literacy as a greater number of people could finally learn how to read.

Furthermore, it helped advance science by making research and practices readily available. By making it more accessible for scientists to share their ideas around Europe, it led to the Age of Enlightenment. This is where European culture started to develop into the society we know today.

To put it frankly, the printing press revolutionised the world as we know it.

The spread and advancement of knowledge that moulded society makes the printing press one of the most powerful inventions of the modern era.

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