Imagine if the Protestants waged war on the Catholics. Three landmark events contributed to the development of the printing press: witnesses see a strange machine in a workshop, Johannes Gutenberg prints a bible, and Martin Luther produces a pamphlet denouncing the Catholic Church. Trace the history of text from ancient Iraq to the medieval ages.
Transcoding language in a visual form creates writing. Gutenberg was born in the Holy Roman Empire in 1400. Witnesses spot a strange device in the blacksmith's shop; Andreas Dritzehn invests money into the press before he dies.
Compare Gutenberg to Larry Page and Sergey Brin who created Google. A carved letter is placed in a mold and an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony is poured on top. Using inventions already created, Gutenberg built the printing press.
Gutenberg possessed a vision of the future of communication. 180 copies of the Bible were published. Fust sues Gutenberg and unites with Peter Schoeffer to publish manuscripts.
Martin Luther publishes his 95 theses against the Catholic Church; the printing press allows the church to spread religious doctrine more easily. Fifteen million copies were printed in the 15th century. The Internet changed the world.
Credits: Gutenberg and the First Printing Press
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1450—Mayence—Johannes Gutenberg has been working on creating a printing press for more than two years. After a not entirely successful demonstration, he tries to persuade the wealthy banker Johann Fust to help finance his project. Fust agrees and lends Gutenberg 800 florins, plus 300 florins per annum for general expenses—a considerable sum for the period. The two men become partners. Fust and Gutenberg’s choice of the first work to be printed is an astute one: Saint Jerome’s Latin version of the Bible. It enjoys an immediate and resounding success. Gutenberg then perfects the various elements that make up his invention. He improves the hand press, movable print characters in a suitable alloy, special ink... These inventions mean knowledge can be disseminated much more rapidly. They revolutionize European civilization and open the way for the Renaissance and the development of Humanism.
Length: 26 minutes
Copyright date: ©2017
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