Johannes Gutenberg

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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Johannes Gutenberg, was born to a rich family in Mainz, Germany and early on in his life he mastered in goldsmithing, but then he realized that ha wanted to do something different. So he moved to Strasbourg, and here he made his first experiments with moveable type, and printing.

You see Gutenberg had a new idea, his idea was to utilize the techniques of casting, punchcutting, and stamping, you see he wanted to produce books a lot faster than they were currently being produced, since books were hand written, and worth they're weight in gold. Gutenberg didn't want to change the authentic look of the current hand written books of the time, so Gutenberg made over 300 characters for just one font, and his fonts were much larger than the fonts of today's world. His charaters are made from a blend, or an alloy of lead, antimony, and tin, in fact that mixture is still used to produce prints by modern printing companies.

He also printed some of his books on paper, before paper they used a substance called Vellum, Vellum is very durable, and is also very expensive. So Gutenbergs early books were expensive.

It's amazing, that similar press systems were being developed in Holland and Prague at the same time but no one knows the names of the men that created those press'. You see there are many things that Gutenberg is credited for, which most of which were developed in his pursuit of the printing press. The adaptation for printing, of the wine or olive oil, screw-type that had been in use for hundreds of years, throughout Europe and Asia. The adaptation of block-print technology; known in Europe since the return of Marco Polo from Asia at the end of the 13th century. And the development...