- from Renaissance
In about 1450, a man named Johannes Gutenberg who worked as a goldsmith in Germany combined some existing inventions into a brand-new one that would change the course of history.
Using his knowledge of metals, Gutenberg perfected “movable type” (something that had already been invented in China). Movable type are little molds of letters and punctuation. They can be arranged in any combination on a rack and then inked for printing. In about 1450, Gutenberg combined movable type with a simple mechanical press—the same kind that was used to squeeze oil out of olives or juice out of grapes—to make a mechanical printing press. Working together, two or three printers could produce over 3,600 pages a day—a lot more than the few pages that a scribe could make copying by hand.