Johannes Gutenberg and The Printed BookJohannes Gutenberg was born circa , in Mainz, Germany. He started experimenting with printing by In Gutenberg obtained backing from the financier, Johann Fust, whose impatience and other factors led to Gutenberg's loss of his establishment to Fust several years later. Gutenberg died in Mainz in He was the third son of Freile zum Gensfleisch and his second wife, Else Wirick zum Gutenberg, whose maiden name Johann later adopted.
The Printing Press ~ Johannes Gutenberg
Photo courtesy of The International Print Museum. Most of us tend to take printed materials for granted, but imagine life today if the printing press had never been invented. We would not have books, magazines or newspapers. Posters, flyers, pamphlets and mailers would not exist. The printing press allows us to share large amounts of information quickly and in huge numbers. In fact, the printing press is so significant that it has come to be known as one of the most important inventions of our time. It drastically changed the way society evolved.
Johann Gutenberg is commonly credited as the inventor of the printing press and the father of the modern printed book. This led to a revolution in the spread of information that opened up the world to the quick and efficient dissemination of knowledge and ideas.
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The earliest dated printed book, known as the Diamond Sutra , was produced in China in CE, but it is believed that the practice dates back well before this date. The Japanese and the Chinese regularly used wood blocks carved in relief to produce Buddhist charms as early as the fifth century CE.
A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium such as paper or cloth , thereby transferring the ink. It marked a dramatic improvement on earlier printing methods in which the cloth, paper or other medium was brushed or rubbed repeatedly to achieve the transfer of ink, and accelerated the process. Typically used for texts, the invention and global spread of the printing press was one of the most influential events in the second millennium. The movable-type printing press was invented in South Korea. Printing in East Asia had been prevalent since the Tang dynasty ,   and in Europe, woodblock printing based on existing screw presses was common by the 14th century. Gutenberg's most important innovation was the development of hand-molded metal printing matrices, thus producing a movable type —based printing press system similar to the Korean system. His newly devised hand mould made possible the precise and rapid creation of metal movable type in large quantities.
His introduction of mechanical movable type printing to Europe started the Printing Revolution and is regarded as a milestone of the second millennium, ushering in the modern period of human history. Gutenberg in was the first European to use movable type. Among his many contributions to printing are: the invention of a process for mass-producing movable type; the use of oil-based ink for printing books;  adjustable molds;  mechanical movable type; and the use of a wooden printing press similar to the agricultural screw presses of the period. Gutenberg's method for making type is traditionally considered to have included a type metal alloy and a hand mould for casting type. The alloy was a mixture of lead, tin, and antimony that melted at a relatively low temperature for faster and more economical casting, cast well, and created a durable type. In Renaissance Europe, the arrival of mechanical movable type printing introduced the era of mass communication which permanently altered the structure of society.