Gutenberg's press (Mainz, 15th century)

Gutenberg's press (Mainz, 15th century)

Life magazine picked Gutenberg's invention of mechanical movable type printing as the most important event of the second millennium.

History

Keywords

Gutenberg, book printing, press, printer, character set, typesetting, forme, Mainz, printing, invention, book, industrial revolution, print, font, Bible, automation, manufacture, Middle Ages, Germany, revolution, history

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Scenes

  • - An alloy of lead, tin and antimony with a melting point of about (572 °F).

  • - An alloy of lead, tin and antimony with a melting point of about (572 °F).
  • - An alloy of lead, tin and antimony with a melting point of about 300 °C (572 °F).

  • - An alloy of lead, tin and antimony with a melting point of about 300 °C (572 °F).

Narration

Johannes Gutenberg is the inventor of book printing, although this statement is questioned by many researchers. It is a fact that Gutenberg, a goldsmith from Mainz, invented new tools and a new technology, with which he revolutionized printing.

The novelty and greatness of his method did not lie in the use of movable type, as movable type had already been in use in the Far East much earlier. It was because of the optimal, coordinated use of the four basic components in the printing process: type, ink, the printing press and paper.

Gutenberg's printing technology involved several phases. During the preparations, the type metal and the ink were carefully chosen. The printing type was cast manually and stored in trays, arranged in compartments.

The text was composed by the typesetters onto a composing stick, then onto the forme. Then the ink was evenly applied onto the forme by a dossil made of sheepskin and filled with horse hair. The final step of the process was to press the rag paper sheet onto the forme with the printing press.

The printing press consisted of two posts connected by a cross beam, with a screw inserted into the cross beam. An iron sheet (the platen) was attached to the end of the screw, which could move up and down. The forme and the paper sheet placed on the bed were rolled under the platen on a pair of rails.

Gutenberg' s first print was a short poem, but his major work was the printing of the Bible. The new technology spread all over the world in a short time. According to a list published by Life magazine, the invention of book printing was the most important event of the second millennium.

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