The Printing Revolution

Before the printing press was invented, information was not accessible to the common people in the form of books. Scribes had to work very hard and long to copy parts of a book, making books extremely expensive. In addition, there was no way of really knowing how exactly a text was copied. The printing press gave us the ability to distribute books and newspapers to people, by letting people create letterpress templates and then distribute multiple copies.

For instance, there was now the ability for books such as the bible to be printed in languages besides Latin, which was  a language few people spoke or read. People from countries such as Germany or France could read these texts in their vernacular, and actually form opinions that were not given to them by higher powers, such as priests or royalty. People were also able to form their own opinions about local events and world events alike.

Here is a photo of a moveable type, where a worker composes and locks movable type into the bed of a press, inks it, and presses paper against it to create an impression on the paper. This allowed us to make hundreds of copies of different templates.



And this is a photo of what happens to one’s hand when using the letter press!



While not as easy as printers, I think we can all agree that the letter press beats scribing!


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