Johannes Gutenberg was a German and the first European to build and work a movable type printing press. He made it really easy for everyone to print books forever. They didn’t have to sit long hours copying by hand, they could use the press. Books became available to the public and they became less expensive. In addition they began to be produced on a large scale. He typed the first printed book, and of course it was the Bible. One of them (they’re called the Gutenberg bible) is on display in the new York public library, bought by Lenox, who brought the first printed bible to American shores. There were 182 bibles most of which had 42 lines on each page.
He built the press around 1439, and it changed the very fabric of society for ever and ever. Okay, that doesn’t make sense, its just a fancy term. information, which had been relatively unrestricted by people but rendered inaccessible now transcended Borders and became easily available to Every one. It brought restoration to the masses and resulted in threatening the religious and political leaders in charge. Meanwhile, the literacy rate shot straight up, and offset the literate elite and their powerful hold. It caught the Italian Renaissance at the perfect moment.
Gutenberg didn’t just invent the process for movable type, he used oil based ink, his press was like the wooden agricultural screw presses of his time. He put all these elements together and created the press. Not just the printing press, the media ‘press’. Mass communication began because of him. Starting to fall in place?
Gutenberg was a blacksmith, goldsmith, printer and publisher who introduced printing, born in 1395 in Mainz, Germany to Friele Gutenberg, involved in either gold smithy or the cloth trade. Much of Gutenberg’s early life was a mystery. He had to leave Mainz at some point. No one knows where he was. But we do know where he wasn’t – at Mainz, ( Helpful, huh?) and we do know when-1430. that’s the one solid thing everyone agrees on.
The idea for the press came to Gutenberg ‘like a ray of light’. He first mentioned it when he agreed to share a secret with emperor Charlemagne to please him in the place of a failed mirror gift. He later began his real work. Soon after, he met Faust.
Actually, Faust was Johann Fust, a German moneylender and so called magician. He agreed to lend money to Gutenberg to fund his work( 800 guilders). Gutenberg began work on his bible and ultimately typed the bible. There is speculation that there were two type presses, one for commercial use and one for the bible. Gutenberg finished 182 copies (after borrowing 800 guilders more), most on paper ad some on vellum. A man called Peter Shoffer was also involved in the deal. He became Faust’s son in law and created some of the first typefaces.
After a disagreement between Fust and Gutenberg, Gutenberg was sued in the archbishops court by Fust, and Fust gained control of half the bibles and the press workshop. Fust and Peter ( i know, the name coincidence is freaking me out too! ) went on to print the first book. Meanwhile, Gutenberg started a small printing shop an continued his dream. However, it’s hard to tell which ones were Gutenberg’s because he never signed or was associated with his work.
it was thought the first thing printed on the press was a German poem. during that day, his Gutenberg Bible was sold for a lot less money than a hand printed one. Today, however, it must be work around 30 million dollars.
After Gutenberg’s time, the printing capital shifted from Mainz to Venice and other printers like Aldus Manutius took control. It was a huge deal during the reformation and Martin luthers 95 theses were also printed early on. In fact all books printed before the 1500s are called incunabula.