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Johannes Gutenberg c.

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His technological innovations, which included punch-cutting, matrix-fitting, type-casting, composing, and printing, was used nearly unchanged for three centuries after his death. Johannes Gensfleisch zum Gutenberg was born between and in Mainz, in what is today Germany. An "official birthday" of June 24, , was chosen at the time of a th Anniversary Festival held in Mainz in , but that is symbolic. What information about his early life is limited to court documents—and sources are limited in usefulness because his surname, like many people of the time, was a reference to the building or property he lived in, and so changed according to his residence.

As a young child and adult, he lived in the Gutenberg house in Mainz.

Johannes Gutenberg, Inventor of the Printing Press

Johannes was the second of three children of Friele Gensfleisch and Else Wirich. Else Wirich was the daughter of a shopkeeper, whose family had once been of the noble classes. Friele Gensfleisch was a member of the aristocracy and worked in the ecclesiastical mint, the place that supplied gold and other metals for coins, minted the coins, changed the species of coins when needed, and testified in forgery cases.

Johannes worked with his father in the mint, which is where he learned and may have been a goldsmith's apprentice. As a young man, he may have also worked in the clothing trade in Mainz until , when a craftsman's revolt against the noble classes occurred, and Johann and his family were forced to flee Mainz. They may have gone to Eltville am Rhein, where his mother had an inherited estate.


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By , they were in Strasbourg. Wherever he was educated, Johannes learned reading and writing in German and Latin , the language of scholars and churchmen. Books have been around for nearly 3, years, but until Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the mids they were rare and hard to produce.

The life of Johannes Gutenberg

Text and illustrations were done by hand, a very time-consuming process, and only the wealthy and educated could afford them. But within a few decades of Gutenberg's innovation, printing presses were operating in England, France, Germany, Holland, Spain, and elsewhere.

More presses meant more and cheaper books, allowing literacy to flourish across Europe. His introduction of mechanical movable type printing to Europe started the Printing Revolution and is regarded as a milestone of the second millennium, ushering in the modern period of human history.

It played a key role in the development of the Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific revolution, and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses. If not for Johannes Gutenberg, the world might not have had access to mass-printed books and for that particular reason it is not a surprise that Gutenberg is regarded as one of the most important contributors in the history of the world.


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Johannes Gutenberg was a visionary of rare quality but other than the fact that he invented movable type printing, he also laid the foundation for printing the Bible which was certainly one of his biggest achievements. Other than inventing modern printing technology at the time he was also the one who invented the type of ink that would make printing feasible and make sure that the books would be readable for a long time.

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The printing technique that he introduced was far more advanced that the ones perfected by the ancient Chinese. Even the Estate of Gutenberg changed in these years ownership, suggesting that Johannes Gutenberg also was among the losers and victims of the bishop's feud. Also some various family member of Johannes Gutenberg were documented in exile in the City of Frankfurt during these years. The Archbishop of Mainz Adolf of Nassau appoints Johannes Gutenberg to his courtier and grants him until the end of his life generous wine, grain and clothing donations, and freedom from taxes and services which usually being charged by the elector from the citizen of Mainz.

The background of this award could not yet be clarified. Within the same month the former City Counsel Dr Konrad Humery receives various printing devices, which Gutenberg had borrowed from Humery previously, with the definite condition for use within the city of Mainz only. Ivo Wittig, Professor of the University of Mainz has in the Hof zum Gutenberg Gutenbergs Birthplace a memorial stone put, with an inscription in Latin: "Johannes Gutenberg of Mainz, who was the first of all who invented the art of printing and who has made an outstanding contribution to this art around the world".

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Biography of Johannes Gutenberg, Inventor of the Printing Press

The first fictional Gutenberg portrait appears as a woodcut in the Latin edition of Heinrich Pantaleon biography of "Famous Germans in Basel". In the just three years later published German edition, there is already a second portrait of the inventor, which is based also on no authentic or contemporary template. We have no true records of Gutenbergs actual looks. A meeting of European astronomers in Gotha decides to incorporate the location between the constellations ship, Unicorn and Great Dog canis major constellation as a constellation "Gutenberg" into the astronomy map.

This decision was implemented by J. There were at least two editions of its widespread sky maps. Around those cards were used as a template as an interesting teaching materials for self-study of the starry sky, the "Urania's Mirror".

This map collection was established in and reprinted in C. Erection of the first figurative Gutenberg memorial, created by the sculpture Joseph Scholl now situated in the administrative building of the Gutenberg Museum in "Hof zum Gutenberg" in Mainz. Inauguration of the Gutenberg monument by the neo-classical sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, which stood model for many more monuments to come.

The digital printing technique has been invented and is on its way to conquer the scrip and image media. The Time—Life magazine picked Gutenberg's invention as the most important of the second millennium.