JOHANNES GUTENBERG Biography - Craftmen, artisans and people from other Occupations


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Name: Johannes Gutenberg                                                             
Born: c. 1400 Mainz, Germany                                                         
Died: February 3, 1468 Mainz, Germany                                               
Movable metal type, and composing stick, descended from Gutenberg's invention       
Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (c. 1400 – February 3, 1468) was a   
German goldsmith and printer, who is credited with inventing movable type           
printing in Europe (c. 1439) and mechanical printing globally. His major work,       
the Gutenberg Bible, also known as the 42-line bible, has been acclaimed for its     
high aesthetic and technical quality.                                               
Among the specific contributions to printing that are attributed to Gutenberg       
are the design of metal movable type, the invention of a process for making such     
type in quantity (mass production), the use of oil-based ink, and the use of a       
wooden printing press similar to the screw olive and wine presses of the period.     
His truly epochal invention was the combination of these elements into a             
practical system. Gutenberg may have been familiar with printing; it is claimed     
that he had worked on copper engravings with an artist known as the Master of       
the Playing Cards. Gutenberg's method for making type is traditionally               
considered to have included a type metal alloy and a hand mould for casting type.   
It should be noted that new research may indicate that standardised moveable         
type was a more complex evolutionary process spread over multiple locations.         
The use of movable type was a marked improvement on the handwritten manuscript,     
which was the existing method of book production in Europe, and upon woodblock       
printing, and revolutionized European book-making. Gutenberg's printing             
technology spread rapidly throughout Europe and is considered a key factor in       
the European Renaissance. Gutenberg remains a towering figure in the popular         
image; in 1999, the A&E Network ranked Gutenberg #1 on their "People of the         
Millennium" countdown, and in 1997, Time–Life magazine picked Gutenberg's         
invention as the most important of the second millennium.