Monday, 13 December 2010

Integrated Theory and Practice: Gutenberg Press

In 1436, Johannes Gutenberg, a goldsmith and businessman from Mainz in Germany, invented the printing press. It had replaceable and movable wooden or metal letters. It was developed using the technology of a screw-type wine press and was operated by hand. Ink was rolled over the block letters which were held in a wooden frame, then it was pressed against a sheet of paper transferring the ink as printed type. He finished the printing press in 1440 and printed the first book in Europe, the 42-line (lines per page) Gutenberg Bible in 1445. 

This image of a press reproduction from the era shows the structure of the screw based machine. Below the printing plate was a sliding bench holding the inked metal type and a with a sheet of paper held in place to the surface. The bench slid into position below, the screw was turned and then the plate lowered to give pressure to the paper against the rows of type quickly and evenly. When the screw was turned in the opposite direction, the plate was raised. The bench was pulled back and the paper removed. This was repeated to produce many printed sheets efficiently.

No comments:

Post a Comment