Johannes Gutenberg

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"Gutenberg" redirects here. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_0

For the Bible, see Gutenberg Bible. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_1

For other uses, see Gutenberg (disambiguation). Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_2

Johannes Gutenberg_table_infobox_0

Johannes GutenbergJohannes Gutenberg_header_cell_0_0_0
BornJohannes Gutenberg_header_cell_0_1_0 Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg

c. 1400 Mainz, Electorate of Mainz in the Holy Roman EmpireJohannes Gutenberg_cell_0_1_1

DiedJohannes Gutenberg_header_cell_0_2_0 February 3, 1468 (aged about 68)

Mainz, Electorate of Mainz in the Holy Roman EmpireJohannes Gutenberg_cell_0_2_1

OccupationJohannes Gutenberg_header_cell_0_3_0 Engraver, inventor, and printerJohannes Gutenberg_cell_0_3_1
Known forJohannes Gutenberg_header_cell_0_4_0 The invention of the movable-type printing pressJohannes Gutenberg_cell_0_4_1

Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (/ˈɡuːtənbɜːrɡ/; c. 1400 – February 3, 1468) was a German goldsmith, inventor, printer, and publisher who introduced printing to Europe with his mechanical movable-type printing press. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_3

His work started the Printing Revolution and is regarded as a milestone of the second millennium, ushering in the modern period of human history. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_4

It played a key role in the development of the Renaissance, Reformation, Age of Enlightenment, and Scientific Revolution, as well as laying the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_5

Gutenberg in 1439 was the first European to use movable type. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_6

Among his many contributions to printing are: the invention of a process for mass-producing movable type; the use of oil-based ink for printing books; adjustable molds; mechanical movable type; and the use of a wooden printing press similar to the agricultural screw presses of the period. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_7

His truly epochal invention was the combination of these elements into a practical system that allowed the mass production of printed books and was economically viable for printers and readers alike. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_8

Gutenberg's method for making type is traditionally considered to have included a type metal alloy and a hand mould for casting type. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_9

The alloy was a mixture of lead, tin, and antimony that melted at a relatively low temperature for faster and more economical casting, cast well, and created a durable type. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_10

In Renaissance Europe, the arrival of mechanical movable type printing introduced the era of mass communication which permanently altered the structure of society. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_11

The relatively unrestricted circulation of information—including revolutionary ideas—transcended borders, captured the masses in the Reformation and threatened the power of political and religious authorities; the sharp increase in literacy broke the monopoly of the literate elite on education and learning and bolstered the emerging middle class. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_12

Across Europe, the increasing cultural self-awareness of its people led to the rise of proto-nationalism, accelerated by the flowering of the European vernacular languages to the detriment of Latin's status as lingua franca. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_13

In the 19th century, the replacement of the hand-operated Gutenberg-style press by steam-powered rotary presses allowed printing on an industrial scale, while Western-style printing was adopted all over the world, becoming practically the sole medium for modern bulk printing. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_14

The use of movable type was a marked improvement on the handwritten manuscript, which was the existing method of book production in Europe, and upon woodblock printing, and revolutionized European book-making. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_15

Gutenberg's printing technology spread rapidly throughout Europe and later the world. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_16

His major work, the Gutenberg Bible (also known as the 42-line Bible), was the first printed version of the Bible and has been acclaimed for its high aesthetic and technical quality. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_17

Early life Johannes Gutenberg_section_0

Gutenberg was born in the German city of Mainz, Rhine-Main area, the youngest son of the patrician merchant Friele Gensfleisch zur Laden, and his second wife, Else Wyrich, who was the daughter of a shopkeeper. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_18

It is assumed that he was baptized in the area close to his birthplace of St. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_19 Christoph. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_20

According to some accounts, Friele was a goldsmith for the bishop at Mainz, but most likely, he was involved in the cloth trade. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_21

Gutenberg's year of birth is not precisely known, but it was sometime between the years of 1394 and 1404. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_22

In the 1890s the city of Mainz declared his official and symbolic date of birth to be June 24, 1400. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_23

John Lienhard, technology historian, says "Most of Gutenberg's early life is a mystery. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_24

His father worked with the ecclesiastic mint. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_25

Gutenberg grew up knowing the trade of goldsmithing." Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_26

This is supported by historian Heinrich Wallau, who adds, "In the 14th and 15th centuries his [ancestors] claimed a hereditary position as ... retainers of the household of the master of the archiepiscopal mint. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_27

In this capacity they doubtless acquired considerable knowledge and technical skill in metal working. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_28

They supplied the mint with the metal to be coined, changed the various species of coins, and had a seat at the assizes in forgery cases." Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_29

Wallau adds, "His surname was derived from the house inhabited by his father and his paternal ancestors 'zu Laden, zu Gutenberg'. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_30

The house of Gänsfleisch was one of the patrician families of the town, tracing its lineage back to the thirteenth century." Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_31

Patricians (the wealthy and political elite) in Mainz were often named after houses they owned. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_32

Around 1427, the name zu Gutenberg, after the family house in Mainz, is documented to have been used for the first time. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_33

In 1411, there was an uprising in Mainz against the patricians, and more than a hundred families were forced to leave. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_34

As a result, the Gutenbergs are thought to have moved to Eltville am Rhein (Alta Villa), where his mother had an inherited estate. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_35

According to historian Heinrich Wallau, "All that is known of his youth is that he was not in Mainz in 1430. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_36

It is presumed that he migrated for political reasons to Strasbourg, where the family probably had connections." Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_37

He is assumed to have studied at the University of Erfurt, where there is a record of the enrolment of a student called Johannes de Altavilla in 1418—Altavilla is the Latin form of Eltville am Rhein. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_38

Nothing is now known of Gutenberg's life for the next fifteen years, but in March 1434, a letter by him indicates that he was living in Strasbourg, where he had some relatives on his mother's side. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_39

He also appears to have been a goldsmith member enrolled in the Strasbourg militia. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_40

In 1437, there is evidence that he was instructing a wealthy tradesman on polishing gems, but where he had acquired this knowledge is unknown. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_41

In 1436/37 his name also comes up in court in connection with a broken promise of marriage to a woman from Strasbourg, Ennelin. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_42

Whether the marriage actually took place is not recorded. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_43

Following his father's death in 1419, he is mentioned in the inheritance proceedings. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_44

Printing press Johannes Gutenberg_section_1

Main articles: Printing press and Global spread of the printing press Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_45

Around 1439, Gutenberg was involved in a financial misadventure making polished metal mirrors (which were believed to capture holy light from religious relics) for sale to pilgrims to Aachen: in 1439 the city was planning to exhibit its collection of relics from Emperor Charlemagne but the event was delayed by one year due to a severe flood and the capital already spent could not be repaid. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_46

Until at least 1444 Gutenberg lived in Strasbourg, most likely in the St. Arbogast parish. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_47

It was in Strasbourg in 1440 that he is said to have perfected and unveiled the secret of printing based on his research, mysteriously entitled Aventur und Kunst (enterprise and art). Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_48

It is not clear what work he was engaged in, or whether some early trials with printing from movable type may have been conducted there. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_49

After this, there is a gap of four years in the record. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_50

In 1448, he was back in Mainz, where he took out a loan from his brother-in-law Arnold Gelthus, quite possibly for a printing press or related paraphernalia. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_51

By this date, Gutenberg may have been familiar with intaglio printing; it is claimed that he had worked on copper engravings with an artist known as the Master of Playing Cards. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_52

By 1450, the press was in operation, and a German poem had been printed, possibly the first item to be printed there. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_53

Gutenberg was able to convince the wealthy moneylender Johann Fust for a loan of 800 guilders. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_54

Peter Schöffer, who became Fust's son-in-law, also joined the enterprise. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_55

Schöffer had worked as a scribe in Paris and is believed to have designed some of the first typefaces. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_56

Gutenberg's workshop was set up at Hof Humbrecht, a property belonging to a distant relative. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_57

It is not clear when Gutenberg conceived the Bible project, but for this he borrowed another 800 guilders from Fust, and work commenced in 1452. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_58

At the same time, the press was also printing other, more lucrative texts (possibly Latin grammars). Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_59

There is also some speculation that there may have been two presses, one for the pedestrian texts, and one for the Bible. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_60

One of the profit-making enterprises of the new press was the printing of thousands of indulgences for the church, documented from 1454 to 1455. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_61

In 1455 Gutenberg completed his 42-line Bible, known as the Gutenberg Bible. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_62

About 180 copies were printed, most on paper and some on vellum. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_63

Court case Johannes Gutenberg_section_2

Later life Johannes Gutenberg_section_3

In 1462, during the devastating Mainz Diocesan Feud, Mainz was sacked by archbishop Adolph von Nassau, and Gutenberg was exiled. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_64

An old man by now, he moved to Eltville where he may have initiated and supervised a new printing press belonging to the brothers Bechtermünze. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_65

In January 1465, Gutenberg's achievements were recognized and he was given the title Hofmann (gentleman of the court) by von Nassau. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_66

This honor included a stipend, an annual court outfit, as well as 2,180 litres of grain and 2,000 litres of wine tax-free. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_67

It is believed he may have moved back to Mainz around this time, but this is not certain. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_68

Gutenberg died in 1468 and was buried in the Franciscan church at Mainz, his contributions largely unknown. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_69

This church and the cemetery were later destroyed, and Gutenberg's grave is now lost. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_70

In 1504, he was mentioned as the inventor of typography in a book by Professor Ivo Wittig. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_71

It was not until 1567 that the first portrait of Gutenberg, almost certainly an imaginary reconstruction, appeared in Heinrich Pantaleon's biography of famous Germans. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_72

Printed books Johannes Gutenberg_section_4

Main article: Gutenberg Bible Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_73

Between 1450 and 1455, Gutenberg printed several texts, some of which remain unidentified; his texts did not bear the printer's name or date, so attribution is possible only from typographical evidence and external references. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_74

Certainly several church documents including a papal letter and two indulgences were printed, one of which was issued in Mainz. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_75

In view of the value of printing in quantity, seven editions in two styles were ordered, resulting in several thousand copies being printed. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_76

Some printed editions of Ars Minor, a schoolbook on Latin grammar by Aelius Donatus may have been printed by Gutenberg; these have been dated either 1451–52 or 1455. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_77

In 1455, Gutenberg completed copies of a beautifully executed folio Bible (Biblia Sacra), with 42 lines on each page. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_78

Copies sold for 30 florins each, which was roughly three years' wages for an average clerk. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_79

Nonetheless, it was significantly cheaper than a manuscript Bible that could take a single scribe over a year to prepare. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_80

After printing, some copies were rubricated or hand-illuminated in the same elegant way as manuscript Bibles from the same period. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_81

48 substantially complete copies are known to survive, including two at the British Library that can be viewed and compared online. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_82

The text lacks modern features such as page numbers, indentations, and paragraph breaks. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_83

An undated 36-line edition of the Bible was printed, probably in Bamberg in 1458–60, possibly by Gutenberg. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_84

A large part of it was shown to have been set from a copy of Gutenberg's Bible, thus disproving earlier speculation that it was the earlier of the two. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_85

Printing method with movable type Johannes Gutenberg_section_5

Gutenberg's early printing process, and what texts he printed with movable type, are not known in great detail. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_86

His later Bibles were printed in such a way as to have required large quantities of type, some estimates suggesting as many as 100,000 individual sorts. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_87

Setting each page would take, perhaps, half a day, and considering all the work in loading the press, inking the type, pulling the impressions, hanging up the sheets, distributing the type, etc., it is thought that the Gutenberg–Fust shop might have employed as many as 25 craftsmen. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_88

Gutenberg's technique of making movable type remains unclear. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_89

In the following decades, punches and copper matrices became standardized in the rapidly disseminating printing presses across Europe. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_90

Whether Gutenberg used this sophisticated technique or a somewhat primitive version has been the subject of considerable debate. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_91

In the standard process of making type, a hard metal punch (made by punchcutting, with the letter carved back to front) is hammered into a softer copper bar, creating a matrix. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_92

This is then placed into a hand-held mould and a piece of type, or "sort", is cast by filling the mould with molten type-metal; this cools almost at once, and the resulting piece of type can be removed from the mould. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_93

The matrix can be reused to create hundreds, or thousands, of identical sorts so that the same character appearing anywhere within the book will appear very uniform, giving rise, over time, to the development of distinct styles of typefaces or fonts. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_94

After casting, the sorts are arranged into type cases, and used to make up pages which are inked and printed, a procedure which can be repeated hundreds, or thousands, of times. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_95

The sorts can be reused in any combination, earning the process the name of "movable type". Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_96

(For details, see Typography.) Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_97

The invention of the making of types with punch, matrix and mold has been widely attributed to Gutenberg. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_98

However, recent evidence suggests that Gutenberg's process was somewhat different. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_99

If he used the punch and matrix approach, all his letters should have been nearly identical, with some variation due to miscasting and inking. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_100

However, the type used in Gutenberg's earliest work shows other variations. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_101

In 2001, the physicist Blaise Agüera y Arcas and Princeton librarian Paul Needham, used digital scans of a Papal bull in the Scheide Library, Princeton, to carefully compare the same letters (types) appearing in different parts of the printed text. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_102

The irregularities in Gutenberg's type, particularly in simple characters such as the hyphen, suggested that the variations could not have come either from ink smear or from wear and damage on the pieces of metal on the types themselves. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_103

Although some identical types are clearly used on other pages, other variations, subjected to detailed image analysis, suggested that they could not have been produced from the same matrix. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_104

Transmitted light pictures of the page also appeared to reveal substructures in the type that could not arise from traditional punchcutting techniques. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_105

They hypothesized that the method involved impressing simple shapes to create alphabets in "cuneiform" style in a matrix made of some soft material, perhaps sand. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_106

Casting the type would destroy the mould, and the matrix would need to be recreated to make each additional sort. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_107

This could explain the variations in the type, as well as the substructures observed in the printed images. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_108

Thus, they speculated that "the decisive factor for the birth of typography", the use of reusable moulds for casting type, was a more progressive process than was previously thought. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_109

They suggested that the additional step of using the punch to create a mould that could be reused many times was not taken until twenty years later, in the 1470s. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_110

Others have not accepted some or all of their suggestions, and have interpreted the evidence in other ways, and the truth of the matter remains uncertain. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_111

A 1568 book Batavia by Hadrianus Junius from Holland claims that the idea of the movable type came to Gutenberg from Laurens Janszoon Coster via Fust, who was apprenticed to Coster in the 1430s and may have brought some of his equipment from Haarlem to Mainz. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_112

While Coster appears to have experimented with moulds and castable metal type, there is no evidence that he had actually printed anything with this technology. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_113

He was an inventor and a goldsmith. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_114

However, there is one indirect supporter of the claim that Coster might be the inventor. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_115

The author of the Cologne Chronicle of 1499 quotes Ulrich Zell, the first printer of Cologne, that printing was performed in Mainz in 1450, but that some type of printing of lower quality had previously occurred in the Netherlands. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_116

However, the chronicle does not mention the name of Coster, while it actually credits Gutenberg as the "first inventor of printing" in the very same passage (fol. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_117

312). Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_118

The first securely dated book by Dutch printers is from 1471, and the Coster connection is today regarded as a mere legend. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_119

The 19th-century printer and typefounder Fournier Le Jeune suggested that Gutenberg was not using type cast with a reusable matrix, but wooden types that were carved individually. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_120

A similar suggestion was made by Nash in 2004. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_121

This remains possible, albeit entirely unproven. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_122

Legacy Johannes Gutenberg_section_6

Although Gutenberg was financially unsuccessful in his lifetime, the printing technologies spread quickly, and news and books began to travel across Europe much faster than before. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_123

It fed the growing Renaissance, and since it greatly facilitated scientific publishing, it was a major catalyst for the later scientific revolution. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_124

The capital of printing in Europe shifted to Venice, where visionary printers like Aldus Manutius ensured widespread availability of the major Greek and Latin texts. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_125

The claims of an Italian origin for movable type have also focused on this rapid rise of Italy in movable-type printing. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_126

This may perhaps be explained by the prior eminence of Italy in the paper and printing trade. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_127

Additionally, Italy's economy was growing rapidly at the time, facilitating the spread of literacy. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_128

Christopher Columbus had a geography book (printed with movable type) bought by his father. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_129

That book is in a Spanish museum, the Biblioteca Colombina in Seville. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_130

Finally, the city of Mainz was sacked in 1462, driving many (including a number of printers and punch cutters) into exile. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_131

Printing was also a factor in the Reformation. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_132

Martin Luther's Ninety-five Theses were printed and circulated widely; subsequently he issued broadsheets outlining his anti-indulgences position (certificates of indulgences were one of the first items Gutenberg had printed). Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_133

The broadsheet contributed to development of the newspaper. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_134

In the decades after Gutenberg, many conservative patrons looked down on cheap printed books; books produced by hand were considered more desirable. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_135

Today there is a large antique market for the earliest printed objects. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_136

Books printed prior to 1500 are known as incunabula. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_137

There are many statues of Gutenberg in Germany, including the famous one by Bertel Thorvaldsen (1837) at Gutenbergplatz in Mainz, home to the eponymous Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz and the Gutenberg Museum on the history of early printing. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_138

The latter publishes the Gutenberg-Jahrbuch, the leading periodical in the field. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_139

Project Gutenberg, the oldest digital library, commemorates Gutenberg's name. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_140

The Mainzer Johannisnacht commemorates the person Johannes Gutenberg in his native city since 1968. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_141

In 1952, the United States Postal Service issued a five hundredth anniversary stamp commemorating Johannes Gutenberg invention of the movable-type printing press. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_142

In 1961 the Canadian philosopher and scholar Marshall McLuhan entitled his pioneering study in the fields of print culture, cultural studies, and media ecology, The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_143

Regarded as one of the most influential people in human history, Gutenberg remains a towering figure in the popular image. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_144

In a 1978 book by a historian that purports to rank the 100 most influential persons in history, Gutenberg comes in at number 8, after T'sai Lun and before Christopher Columbus. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_145

In 1999, the A&E Network ranked Gutenberg the No. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_146

1 most influential person of the second millennium on their "Biographies of the Millennium" countdown. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_147

In 1997, Time–Life magazine picked Gutenberg's invention as the most important of the second millennium. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_148

In space, he is commemorated in the name of the asteroid 777 Gutemberga. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_149

Two operas based on Gutenberg are G, Being the Confession and Last Testament of Johannes Gensfleisch, also known as Gutenberg, Master Printer, formerly of Strasbourg and Mainz, from 2001 with music by Gavin Bryars; and La Nuit de Gutenberg, with music by Philippe Manoury, premiered in 2011 in Strasbourg. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_150

In 2018, WordPress, the open-source CMS platform, named its new editing system Gutenberg in tribute to him. Johannes Gutenberg_sentence_151

See also Johannes Gutenberg_section_7

Johannes Gutenberg_unordered_list_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes Gutenberg.