The Printing Press - Notes

Essay by strawberry_qteeHigh School, 11th gradeA, September 2004

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Before the Press:

§ majority of the population was illiterate

§ no standard for what proper writing was

§ ppl divided into upper class and lower class

§ knowing how to read did not mean that you knew how to write

§ knowledge limited to memory-- mnemonics & abrv.

§ books were rare and expensive

§ travel was dangerous - no maps

§ sense of time based on nature--no calendars, no clocks

Brief history:

§ china made paper money and playing cards - block-printed

§ every word, phrase & pic was on a different block -- new block carved each time

§ imported block-books and paper from the east

§ Johannes Gutenberg -first to demonstrate moveable type press

§ used an alloy: cast well in die; durable in press; could be reused


§ at first--used to print religious texts

§ spread the Bible--ppl had more direct connection with god

§ Gutenberg printed bible--each bible cost 3 yrs pay for the avg clerk

§ scientists could share ideas

§ language standardized - dialect & spelling of printings became standard

§ most dialects died down

§ middle class emerged: ppl in lower class could afford books; gained status thru education

§ new ideas spread more quickly

§ prevented corruption of texts