By: Nicole Schlesselman
What it is
The printing press is a machine that prints text or pictures using type or plates. It was made in 1440 in by Johannes Gutenberg in the Holy Roman Empire.
How it works
The mirror image of each letter, number or symbol was cut into a small block so it could be recreated easily. Each precast image was easily movable and could be arranged into any order, coated in oil-based ink and lowered onto paper with a screw press.
5 Reasons why its important
- It made printing books much easier and more time effecient
- Enabled a printer to produce several copies of a single piece of work
- Allowed the poor to buy books, because by printing them, they were cheaper
- There were more variations to the type of literature. Before the printing press there were mainly religious books.
- The invention of the first printing press led to the invention of about 2500 more throughout the continent of Europe.
Johannes Gutenberg (a.k.a the inventor)
Gutenberg was a goldsmith, metallurgist and stone cutter who lived in Germany. His business had been struggling, and he was looking for a new way to make money. Using his knowledge of metals, he came up with an alloy of lead, tin and antimony that could be melted and formed easily to make blocks of type and letters. He also created the ink and adapted a wine press that enabled him to slide paper in and out of the machine easily. His first project was the printing of 200 Bibles, known as the Gutenberg Bibles. He sold out immediately and the printing business was born.
The Printing Press
Gutenberg Printing Press