Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Birthday, Moveable Type

Yes - today is the anniversary of the first volume of the most influential Bible ever published: the one printed with Johan Gutenberg's moveable type - in 1542.

It was the beginning of a new age - an age of widespread information and literacy, and an end to the Church's monopoly on knowledge. The new printing process fueled the Renaissance and was a major catalyst for the scientific revolution. It may even have midwifed the Reformation. In short, it facilitated, if not outright produced, the end of the Middle Ages.

It is estimated that more books were produced in the 50 years after Gutenberg's invention than scribes had been able to produce in the 1,000 years before that.



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