A Printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium such as paper or cloth, thereby transferring the ink. Typically used for texts, the invention and global spread of the Printing Press was one of the most influential events in the history of human civilization. The printing press is a device that allows for the mass production of uniform printed matter, mainly text in the form of books, pamphlets, and newspapers. Created in China,  the printing press revolutionized society there, before being further developed in Europe in the 15th century by Johannes Gutenberg and his invention of the Gutenberg Press.


No one knows when the first printing press was invented or who invented it, but the oldest known printing text originated in China, during the first Millenium A.D. The Diamond Sutra, a Buddhist book from Dunhuang, China from around 868 A.D. during the Tang Dynasty, is said to be the oldest known printed book. Woodblock printing was used in Japan and Korea at the time of early printing and metal block printing was also developed at some point during that period. Wang Chen of China created a revolving table for typesetters to organize with more efficiency, which led to greater speed in printing.
In Europe, the printing press did not appear until 150 years after Wang Chen’s innovation. Both a Goldsmith and inventor by profession, Gutenberg had a printing machine perfected and ready for commercial use, by the year 1450. Integral to Gutenberg’s design was replacing wood with metal and printing blocks with each letter, creating the European version of movable type. His greatest accomplishment was the first print run of the Bible in Latin, which took three years to print around 200 copies; an astoundingly speedy achievement in the day of hand-copied manuscripts.

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As the saying goes, ” Knowledge is Power”. The invention of the mechanical, movable type printing press helped disseminate knowledge wider and faster than ever before. Some of the ways the Printing press has impacted the world are –

• A global news network was launched – News from one place of the world started reaching another part. This radically changed the consumption of news. It became normal to check the news every day.

• Printing powered the Scientific Revolution – For Millennia, science was a largely solitary pursuit. With the newfound ability to publish and share scientific findings and experimental data with a wide audience, Science took great leaps forward in the 16th and 17th centuries.

• It enhanced knowledge – An important side effect was that people could read and increase their .knowledge more easily now, whereas in the past it was common for people to remain quite uneducated. The printing press also helped standardize language, grammar, and spelling.

• Forming public opinion – Increasing democratization of knowledge led to the development of public opinion and its power to topple the ruling elite.

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