According to several almanacs and online references, the Gutenberg Bible was published 559 years ago today. There is evidence to dispute the date, but the importance of the printing process of this first mass-produced book cannot be disputed
For the first time books could be mass-produced, and the circulation of books in Europe increased from just thousands in the mid 15th century to close to a million by end of the 18th century. Books became cheaper, which led to greater access and greater literacy rates. The printing press was essential to the renaissance movement as it allowed ideas to spread quickly.
The inventor of letterpress printing, Johannes Gutenberg, was a changemaker. He did not invent movable type, paper, or ink. These had all been invented and used by many cultures before. The Chinese had used wooden blocks to print for over 1000 years, and had used moveable type using baked clay since the 11th century. Koreans has used moveable type using metal since the 13th century.
Gutenberg adapted the asian technologies and combined them with european farming press technology. He also refined the ink, which was more like oil paint than traditional water based writing ink. These efforts resulted in a reliable method for mass printing that had not been possible before.
What can you do to improve the flow of information at home or at work?
What systems could you put in place?
Who could you connect?
My friend Kyle created this board last week at his local school to help teach the children accountability. The children fill out the task card for each subject and the teachers also post on their subject board incase the students lose their task card.
For those who are interested here is a short video showing the impact of Gutenberg’s invention
For those who are really interested here is a longer video showing the history and technology of the Gutenberg press