Johann Gutenberg Made Books Possible

Johann Gutenberg Made Books Possible

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“Yes, it is a press, certainly, but a press from which shall flow in inexhaustible streams, the most abundant and most marvelous liquor that has ever flowed to relieve the thirst of men! Through it, God will spread His Word. A spring of truth shall flow from it: like a new star it shall scatter the darkness of ignorance, and cause a light heretofore unknown to shine amongst men.” In this day with the technologies of eReaders and mobile everything, it is hard to imagine a world without books, or words in written form. However, none of this would be possible without the work of Johann Gutenberg. Johann is influential because he created the printing press, printed the Gutenberg Bible, and paved the way for modern day publishing.
Johann Gutenberg created the printing press in the fifteenth century. Before this invention, works were hand written, which made them expensive and time consuming. Gutenberg used oil-based ink that could transfer easily from metal to paper, along with movable type. This invention made the mass-production of more affordable for the publisher and the reader. The press was made of metal that had letters carved onto the punches. These were then put into a copper blank. Gutenberg was a trained stonecutter, and did work with metal, which helped him in the development of the press. The press made information readily available and easily accessible to the population, which was not true before the press. Johann Gutenberg changed the world drastically with his creation of the printing press. (asme.org)
Johann Gutenberg also changed the world of religion, by printing the Gutenberg Bible. The book was completed in 1455, and had used over three hundred pieces of type says www.asme.org. The book was mass produced, making it more available to people for reading, and was the first book to be mass produced on the press. The bible was printed in Latin in Germany, and it is thought that around 160-185 copies were published, of those, only 49 copies still exist, 21 of them actually being full copies. Most pages of the bible had 42 lines. The bible sold for approximately 300 shillings, or about $3.50 US dollars today. The bible seemed to sell out instantly, and these bibles ended up influencing many bibles to be created in the future. Most bibles were bought by monasteries and religious groups and used at communal readings.

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This made it possible for those that could not afford the bibles to hear its teaching, spreading the religion orally. Johann Gutenberg helped spread religion by printing the Gutenberg Bible and making religious readings cheaper and more easily available.
Johann Gutenberg left a lasting impact on the world of writing and publishing with his invention. Before the invention of the press, books were hand written on scripts which took a lot of time, and made the books expensive. Books were printed with movable metal type and oil ink instead, making the process faster. Today, we have modernized this technology. We still use “punches” that put “ink” onto paper, but our punches are a keyboard that types letters onto a digital piece of paper that can later be printed onto paper with ink. The type on the computer can be saved within the computer, or on a flash drive, and can be printed in about 10 minutes or so, depending on how your paper is. Large scale publishing of books takes anywhere from 7-20 days, depending on what style of binding you chooses. We have technologies now that allow books to be printed in mass amounts, or single books at a time. All of the technology we have to this day is modernized versions of the printing press. As we improved technologically as a whole, so did our printing and publishing technologies. We would not have these technologies today if it were not for Gutenberg.
Before Gutenberg, owning and reading books was a privilege, not many could afford such a thing. Today, books are so common that we take them for granted, and don’t often think about how possible it could have been to not have textbooks and libraries galore if Johann Gutenberg had not created the printing press with movable type. Gutenberg created the press, spread religion with his invention of the Gutenberg bible, and left a legacy for future technologies of printing everywhere.

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