The Printing Press: Gutenberg's Movable Type

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Devry university|
The Printing Press|
Gutenberg’s Movable type|
|
Lucas D Miller|
6/10/2012|

The information presented in this paper will illustrate how the printing press, more specifically Gutenberg’s press, acted as an “agent of change” in the proliferation of knowledge throughout Europe and global society in general. |

The world we know is merely the cumulative results of at least eight millennia of human activity and invention (Elliot, 2012). Writing was a way for man to immortalize their ideas in a manner that allowed them to be shared with others – But what good is this information when it can only be utilized by select few via education and monetary wealth? It took society centuries to catch up with the invention of writing. When writing was finally able to be used as a tool for the proliferation of information and not as a tool for the privileged to maintain leverage over those without means it was at the hands of a man named Johannes Gutenberg and his movable type printing press. Francis Bacon stated that typographical printing has, “changed the whole face and state of things throughout the world”. The information presented in this paper will illustrate how the printing press, more specifically Gutenberg’s press, acted as an “agent of change” in the proliferation of knowledge throughout Europe and global society in general. From the invention of the casting process and the ink used, to the first script printed that is considered the “holy grail” of rare and antiquarian books. The movable type printing press gave way to the ideals of the renaissance and allowed the rise of medieval literacy to take hold during the years to follow. While Gutenberg’s early life is a mystery (due mostly to the fact that he had not yet invented the press) we know he was a German blacksmith who specialized in the casting of gold who was born around 1398. His father was believed to be a gold smith for a bishop at the time which points to Gutenberg...
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