The Impacts of the Printing Press

By Kenneth Arquette

Invention of Printing Press

The movable type printing press was invented in Germany by Johann Gutenberg in 1452 ("The Printing Press and It's "Impact" on Literacy")

Literacy: The Spread of Information

Without the invention of the printing press, it would have been difficult and laborious to spread information, including the letter that Columbus wrote in 1493 announcing that he was successful in his voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. ("The Diffusion of Columbus's Letter Through Europe 1492 - 1497")

The Exponential Growth of the Printing Press in Europe

From 1450 until 1500, the number of printing presses in Europe grew exponentially. Starting in Germany, the printing press spread throughout Europe until there were more than 200 presses being used.

Democratizing Knowledge

The printing press gave more people access to knowledge. Prior the the press, information was transferred orally or through hand written scrolls and written manuscripts Only the upper class of societies had access to books and could read. With the press, books were more affordable and more people had greater access to written material and the knowledge they possessed. ("The Printing Press and It's "Impact" on Literacy")