Monday, September 1, 2008

Johannes Gutenberg

Today we honor Johannes Gutenberg (~1400-1468), the inventor of the wood and metal movable type printing presses (note:there is some recent controversy over whether Gutenberg actually invented the printing press). The printing press allowed Gutenberg to start mass-producing books, which until this printing press had been hand copied or printed on a movable clay press.

The Gutenberg's movable printing press (picture on our banner above) caused the price of books and printed material to drop dramatically. This allowed the transmission of knowledge to move at a much greater pace.

Though Gutenberg created vast amounts of wealth for others through cheap books, he died a relatively poor man. Ultimately, Gutenberg was not legally savvy and lost possession of certain printing rights, which was the beginning of a downward spiral. Gutenberg's legacy of pursuing personal profit made us all richer with the invention of wood and metal movable type printing presses.

Gutenberg on Wiki
Gutenberg on About Inventors
"Gutenberg and Mainz"
by Eva-Maria Hanebutt-Benz

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