Amazing Kids! Magazine

Gutenberg’s Printing Press

By Celine Tien, Nonfiction Editor

 

Can you imagine if every single book you read was handwritten? What if you could only buy the most popular books? If the printing press was never invented, every single word you read would be handwritten or carved! In the mid-15th century, Johannes Gutenberg developed the technology to invent the first printing press for books. To truly recognize the importance of the printing press, we have to understand how books were made before this invention.

Up until the mid-15th century, books were extremely expensive. Few people could read because they had little access to books, which were arduously handwritten. Pages would be individually carved, and the covers would be sewn together. There had previously been woodcut printing, where individual letters had been carved into blocks in reverse to stamp onto pages. It turned out that a lot of more experienced scribes (people who copy out books and documents) could hand-copy out books faster than the wood cut printing.

Seeking to create a more efficient printing method, Johannes Gutenberg, a German blacksmith, began tinkering around with metal typography (letterpress printing) around the 1430s. Around 1440 Gutenberg created his first movable printing press. The press’s first project was printing slips of paper sold by the Catholic Church, but perhaps its most famous work was Gutenberg’s 42-line Bible called the Gutenberg Bible.

The impact this mechanical printing press made would forever influence the way we produce and spread books. The printing press allowed a greater population to have access to more books for a much cheaper price. By 1500, the printing presses throughout Western Europe had produced more than twenty million copies. How does this affect your education today? With the spread of books, information and ideas are more easily passed, allowing us to record history as we know it today!

Today in the 21st century, we no longer use the old printing presses but it’s thanks to Gutenberg’s printing press that we read the way we do today!

13 comments

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  3. leo /

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  4. daysean powell /

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  5. Izzy5L /

    So cool learning about the printing press from this article!!

  6. teddy2 /

    thanks(:

  7. Thank you Shamala and everyone for your kind words about Amazing Kids! and our Amazing Kids! Magazine! 🙂 It’s kids like you who help make our magazine the best it can be!

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  9. teddy /

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  10. teddy /

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  12. pumpkin francis /

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  13. Kristy Lok /

    I think you should add some more facts.