The Printing Press

I was born in 1994 (Yay! 90’s Baby!). Since I was born, thousands of new inventions in the digital space were created from Flip-phones to Touch Screens. But i’m going to have to throw it way back with the invention of the printing press. Yes, you know all about it, the 15th century invention and how it revolutionised the world. We’re going to get into the nitty gritty here and give a little bit of a history lesson on one of the world’s greatest inventions.

A Typical 15th Century Printing Press

Johannes Gutenburg is usually credited with the invention of the printing press. Centuries before the invention of the printing press, Chinese monks were using a method called Block Printing where wooden blocked had carved in letters and were pressed on to sheets of paper. Gutenburg, who established himself as a Goldsmith in Germany, decided to put his own twist on the the many Asian inventors that came before him. What gave Gutenburg the edge was that his version of the printing press was the first the allowed for the transfer of ink to movable paper. This allowed for a far more efficient design that required less man work and saved time. By doing this and tuning the many different parts of the system, Gutenburg was able to create machine that was able to produce mass paper.


So, was the printing press successful? Short answer is YES! The printing press is heralded as the most revolutionary invention in history and that mainly due to the fact that the use of the printing press was responsible for the all of the text and scriptures we see today. To compound this, the printing press was set the table for other ideas and ways to mass produce paper, thus knowledge. Now, we have digital printers, colour printers, etc. If there is one invention that I would say that is the most important in history, it would be the printing press hands down.


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