Salt Lake Mailing & Printing Blog

Johannes Gutenberg and the Printing Press

Johannes Gutenberg was a goldsmith who ran a business in Mainz of southern Germany. In this mining town during the 1430’s, Gutenberg took out a loan to create a new technology he was envisioning.

He got to work on his prototype, which was loosely based on the technology of the screw-type wine presses of Rhine Valley. When he was finished, he had created the printing press. Using removable metal or wooden letters, he created a system that pressed the inked text onto paper and then moved the paper over to reveal the next sheet.

Gutenberg invented the press in 1436 and completed it in1440. With the oldest printed book known produced in China around the year 400, and printing technology in the 1400’s still cumbersome, Gutenberg’s invention changed the world of printing books forever.

Books soon became something everyday people could afford to own, as the printing press made books so much cheaper. Additionally, the ease of printing and sharing information allowed the sciences and technology to advance rapidly.

Not long after the development of his press became known throughout Europe, Guttenberg made his second major impact on history. Guttenberg printed the bible on his printing press, making it available to the masses. The result was titled the “Gutenberg Bible.”  The printing press is no longer needed today, but the world at the time was thankful for Gutenberg’s ingenuity.

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