Historical Significance


Early Years

Printing Years

Later Years

Interesting Facts



The invention of the printing press was a milestone in the history of western civilisation because it aided the spread of renaissance ideas throughout most of Europe and Eastern Europe during the 15th & 16th centuries.

Because Gutenberg’s invention guaranteed that information could spread quickly and easily, literary and knowledge also spread rapidly.

Although there is no way of knowing how many works Gutenberg printed, he is credited with printing the Vulgate, or Latin translation of the Bible, as well as other important books of the time.

In 1455 Bishop Piccolomini commended Gutenberg's work to Cardinal Juan de Carvajal by noting that "all that has been written to me about that marvelous man seen at Frankfurt is true". Piccolomini later became a caradinal himself and then ultimately Pope.

What was unique about Gutenberg’s invention was the mould with punch-stamped metal prisms, a new metal alloy, a press derived from wine-making and an oil based ink. None of the elements of his invention existed in Chinese printing or European woodblock printing.

Gutenberg wanted to reproduce medieval documents without losing colour or design beauty. He succeeded, and the invention of the printing press meant that printing of books could be sped up without sacrificing quality.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011 1:51 PM