A Revolution Without War

Printing gave the world something revolutionary, the ability to replicate, in mass quantities, a piece of text. Gone were the days of hand scribing every letter from a text, now one could simply put the lead letters in the right order, ink them and then press them onto a piece of paper over and over again. This was all thanks to Johann Gutenberg a 14th century printer and publisher and his invention of movable type. Before his invention artisans would sit for days, even weeks carving into metal plates or wood blocks just to print them out, and making a single mistake was devastating. With Gutenberg’s invention making a mistake was no long devastating, while it was still annoying it was an easier fix. His invention also allow for multiple pages to be placed on one larger page so that all one simply had to do was fold it a few times and voilà you had several pages of textbook in a blink of an eye compared to the old ways. All this is good and well, but with blackletter being the predominate typeface; reading was still a difficult task. Enter the exploratory phase, where new typefaces popped up like spring flowers, Baskerville, Roman, Sans Serif all new typefaces that made reading the printed texts easier and thus more appealing. Now textbooks were both mass produced and legible. Now more students had access to the same information that their teachers had and now had the ability to satisfy their curiosities by simply looking in their textbooks. Religious texts were also being printed in a greater abundance, which allowed for more people to become literate because there was more access to reading materials. What happens to the transfer of information and knowledge? It expands. No longer is it reserved for the select few elite now people a more modest income can now read and information spreads like wild fire. All of this eventually leads us to where we are today. Why? Information can now travel countries and transcend continents, which allows for collaboration in various fields of study and this collaboration is what brought about some of the major players in communication such as the telegraph and its successor the telephone. A revolution was started, but there wasn’t a war. Gutenberg gave us a gift that is continuing to change our culture today, and allow for information to travel. 

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