The Printing Press

Printing Press

Who invented the Printing Press? The name of the person credited with inventing the Printing Press is Johannes Gutenberg (c1400 - 1468). Johannes Gutenberg is not only famous as the German inventor of the Printing Press but also as a goldsmith, blacksmith, printer and publisher. When was the Printing Press invented? Johannes Gutenberg invented the Printing Press in 1440, during the Renaissance period of inventions (1350 to 1700). The invention of the Printing Press originated in Germany and is considered a leading achievement in the field of Education, Communications and Information.

Definition of the Printing Press: The Printing Press is defined as a device that transfers lettering or images by contact with various forms of inked surface transferring printed impressions onto paper.

 

Who invented the Printing Press?

 

 Inventions and Inventors Index

 

Fact File about the Invention of the Printing Press: Invention: Printing Press *** Date of Invention: 1440 *** Name of Inventor: Johannes Gutenberg *** Lifespan of Inventor: c1400 - 1468 *** Nationality of Inventor: German *** Historical Period: Renaissance (1350 to 1700) *** Category: Education, Communications and Information *** Country of Origin: Germany *** Facts about the Inventor, Johannes Gutenberg,and the invention of the Printing Press ***

Fact 1: Who invented the Printing Press? The Printing Press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440 during the Renaissance era of inventions (1350 to 1700) which enabled the mass production of Books.

Fact 2: Who invented the Printing Press? Prior to the invention of the Printing Press in 1440, books were handwritten and extremely expensive. The invention of the Printing Press by Johannes Gutenberg had a profound influence on the lives of people, enabling cheap books, pamphlets, and other printed materials to be produced. The invention of the printing press enabled  knowledge and ideas to be spread to vast amounts of people and played a major role in the advancement of the education and civilization of man.

Fact 3: Who invented the Printing Press? The earliest form of printing was developed in Ancient China. The Chinese invented of Paper c. 100 BC, using rags and other plant fibers. The invention of Woodblock Printing followed during the Han Dynasty (202 BC AD 220), using engraved woodblocks to print letters and images. A Chinese inventor called Bi Sheng (c. 9901051) was the inventor of clay movable type printing.

Fact 4: Who invented the Printing Press? Although the Chinese invented paper and woodblock printing c. 100 BC their discoveries did not reach Europe until the Medieval period. In about 1400 woodcut print on paper was finally established as the only means of reproducing information in books.

Fact 5: Who invented the Printing Press? The inventor of the Printing Press, Johannes Gutenberg, was born on c1400 in Mainz, Germany and died on February 3, 1468.

Fact 6: Who invented the Printing Press? Johannes Gutenberg was never a wealthy man and despite his great invention was beset with financial problems and ended up dependent on others for his well being.

Fact 7: Who invented the Printing Press? The early years of Johannes Gutenberg were spent in Mainz, Germany where he was raised by his family. Johannes Gutenberg was educated at University of Erfurt.

Fact 8: Who invented the Printing Press? Following his education his first job was making metal hand mirrors used by pilgrims visiting holy sites. It was here that Johannes Gutenberg developed his excellent metal working skills which would eventually lead to his development of a method of making metal type and his invention of his famous press. In 1430 Johannes Gutenberg moved from his native town of Mainz to Strasburg.

Fact 9: Who invented the Printing Press? Little is known about the private life of Johannes Gutenberg but it is recorded that in 1437 was sued for "breach of promise of marriage" by a young lady of Strasburg. There are no later records to indicate that he ever actually got married or had any children. 

Fact 10: Who invented the Printing Press? It was about this time that Johannes Gutenberg began work on his invention which was based on his knowledge of metal working and the process of woodblock printing.

Fact 11: Who invented the Printing Press? The invention began with a wooden press.  Johannes Gutenberg quickly realized that the major problem with wood-block type was that, because it had to be hand carved, was a laborious and time consuming process. The wooden blocks also had a limited lifespan.

Fact 12: Who invented the Printing Press? The most important aspect of his invention was that it was the first form of printing to use movable, metal type.

Fact 13: Who invented the Printing Press? Johannes Gutenberg began experimenting with metal typography,  letterpress and Type casting, a technique for manually casting individual letters by pouring molten metal into brass moulds. Johannes Gutenberg invented an efficient metal type casting as the key element in his invention of the Printing Press. He found that metal type could be reproduced quickly, once a single mold had been produced.

Fact 14: Who invented the Printing Press? By 1440 invention of the Printing Press was complete. His method of using movable type, metal molds, oil-based inks, and his special press enabled the accurate, efficient mass production of printed books.

Fact 15: Who invented the Printing Press? The metal cast letters were uniform in size so that they could be aligned easily on a frame, and once assembled in proper order, the frame was then pressed against parchment or vellum. The result of the Gutenberg press was an exactly repeatable, accurate piece of "writing."

Fact 16: Who invented the Printing Press? In 1444 Gutenberg returned to Mainz where he established a printing shop. In 1446 Johannes Gutenberg printed the "Poem of the Last Judgment" and the "Calendar for 1448".

Fact 17: Who invented the Printing Press? Johannes Gutenberg put his printing press to work and gained a contract from the Catholic for printing 'indulgences'. An 'indulgence' was a paper given by the church that removed any threat of punishment for a sin, which had been forgiven in return for service or payment to the church.

Fact 18: Who invented the Printing Press? In 1452 he began work on the 'Gutenberg Bible'. Although still too expensive for a normal person to buy, it was significantly cheaper than a handwritten Bible that could take a single monk 20 years to transcribe.

Fact 19: Who invented the Printing Press? Just as the project was nearing completion his wealthy business partner Johann Fust sued him for the return of a large sum of money. Johannes Gutenberg lost the lawsuit and had to turn over some of his printing equipment to Johann Fust, who later formed an important printing partnership with Peter Schoeffer, Gutenberg's assistant.   

Fact 20: Who invented the Printing Press? In 1460 Gutenberg re-established himself in the printing business with the financial backing of Conrad Humery, a wealthy and distinguished doctor of law.

Fact 21: Who invented the Printing Press? Within 25 years of the printing of Gutenberg's Bible, printing shops were established throughout Europe and books became more plentiful and owned by people who were previously unable to afford them. This had a dramatic change on society and led to more people becoming involved in important theological, political and cultural debates resulting in massive religious changes such as the Protestant Reformation led by Martin Luther.

Fact 22: Who invented the Printing Press? In the last years of his life Johannes Gutenberg was financially supported by the Archbishop of Mainz. Johannes Gutenberg died on February 3, 1468 but will forever be remembered in history for his invention of the Printing Press.

Fact 23 - Impact: How did the Printing Press impact the world? Within 25 years of the printing of Gutenberg's Bible, printing shops were established throughout Europe and books became more plentiful and owned by people who were previously unable to afford them. This had a dramatic change on society and led to more people becoming involved in important theological and political debates resulting in massive cultural and religious changes such as the Protestant Reformation initiated by Martin Luther (1483 - 1546).

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