In the 15th century, technology enabled civilization to share knowledge an ext quickly and widely. People never looked back.

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In the 15th century, technology enabled people to re-publishing knowledge more quickly and widely. People never looked back.

Knowledge is power, together the speak goes, and also the creation of the mechanical movable type printing press helped disseminate knowledge broader and quicker than ever before.

German goldsmith john Gutenberg is attributed with inventing the printing press roughly 1436, although he was much from the very first to automate the book-printing process. Woodblock to press in China dates earlier to the 9th century and Korean bookmakers to be printing with moveable metal type a century before Gutenberg.

But many historians believe Gutenberg’s adaptation, i m sorry employed a screw-type wine press to squeeze down evenly on the inked steel type, was the key to unlocking the contemporary age. V the newfound capacity to inexpensively mass-produce books on every imaginable topic, revolutionary ideas and priceless old knowledge were put in the hand of every literate European, who numbers double every century.

Here are simply some that the ways the to press press assisted pull Europe the end of the Middle Ages and accelerate human progress.

1. A an international News Network to be Launched


Johannes Gutenberg’s very first printing press.

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Gutenberg didn’t live to view the immense influence of his invention. His greatest accomplishment was the an initial print operation of the bible in Latin, which took three years to print about 200 copies, a miraculously speedy accomplishment in the day of hand-copied manuscripts.

But as chronicler Ada Palmer explains, Gutenberg’s creation wasn’t financially rewarding until there to be a circulation network for books. Palmer, a professor the early modern European background at the college of Chicago, compares early printed publications like the Gutenberg holy bible to exactly how e-books struggled to discover a market before Amazon presented the Kindle.

“Congratulations, you’ve printed 200 copies of the Bible; over there are around three world in your city who can read the scriptures in Latin,” says Palmer. “What room you walk to perform with the other 197 copies?”

Gutenberg passed away penniless, his presses impounded through his creditors. Other German printers fled because that greener pastures, eventually arriving in Venice, which to be the main shipping hub the the Mediterranean in the so late 15th century.

“If you printed 200 duplicates of a publication in Venice, you can sell 5 to the captain of every ship leave port,” says Palmer, which produced the an initial mass-distribution system for printed books.

The pearl left Venice carrying spiritual texts and also literature, but additionally breaking news from across the well-known world. Printers in Venice sold four-page news pamphlets to sailors, and when your ships arrived in far-off ports, neighborhood printers would certainly copy the pamphlets and hand them off to riders that would race them turn off to dozens that towns.

Since literacy rates to be still really low in the 1490s, locals would certainly gather in ~ the pub come hear a paid leader recite the recent news, i m sorry was everything from bawdy scandals to war reports.

“This radically changed the usage of news,” states Palmer. “It do it typical to go check the news every day.”