With regards to first impressions, no other historical figure made one very like the inventor of the mechanical movable type printing press: German craftsman Johannes Gutenberg.
This revolutionary technology made the information found in books both affordable and accessible to the regular individual for the first time in history. The present Doodle observes Gutenberg on the anniversary of this day in 2000 when the Gutenberg Museum launched a retrospective exhibition in his honor.
Albeit a lot of Gutenberg’s life is covered in mystery, historical records indicate he was born circa 1400 in Mainz, Germany, and first made his living as a metalworker in the goldsmith trade. By the last part of the 1430s, historians believe Gutenberg started to build up a more productive text printing device trying to take care of obligations from a failed mirror business.
The machine he developed (essentially a retrofitted winepress) supplanted the hand-carved wooden letter and graphic blocks of traditional printers for handily cast metal type, which were then dunked in proprietary ink to print whole pages on the double.
Gutenberg’s next eureka moment came in 1450 with his invention’s first successful print: a Latin book on speech-making.
From here, Gutenberg was making races as he innovated labor by recruiting a assembly-line team to deliver books speedier than any time in recent memory! A demonstration of the force of human creativity, the Gutenberg press printed up to 3,600 pages on a average workday, fueling the first large-scale production of books in Europe.
By the sixteenth century, an expected 200 million books were in print thanks to his invention, which brought forth new era of mass communication and new branch of media: the press. Today, Gutenberg’s legacy lives on with Project Gutenberg, an online library with over 60,000 free books.
Thank you, Johannes Gutenberg!