Johannes Gutenberg, Inventor Of The Printing Press

1134 words - 5 pages

Johannes Gutenberg, Inventor of the Printing Press

Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg, or commonly know as
Johann Gutenberg, was the inventor of the printing press. He was born
in Mainz around 1397 and lived until around 1468. He is most known for
his inventing of a movable type, that used metals and alloys, and a
press that used an oil-based ink. This printing method was used up
until the 20th century.

Much evidence suggests that Gutenberg was born in Mainz, although
little is known about his youth. He was born third child of Frelie zum
Gensfleisch, and his second wife, Else Wirick zum Gutenberg. (Johann
Gutenberg 1) His father was a ...view middle of the document...

This would then be placed into a printing press,
which would cover the letters in ink, and then onto many papers, so
that many copies of the same page would be produced in which a shorter
amount of time, compared to older methods, which would take a very
long time. Also the letter molds could be re-used to make new words,
and form new pages. This invention saved much time and money.
(Johannes Gutenberg II)

However, Johannes Gutenberg had some problems with running his
business. He had a printing plant in the 1450s, during which he
borrowed 800 guilders (money) from Johann Fust, a rich financer,
allowing him to manufacture tools and equipment. When Gutenberg was
required to pay of his debt in December of 1452, he was unable to pay
it. So, Fust came up with a new contract, giving Gutenberg another
loan, and Fust as his partner in this enterprise. However Gutenberg
and Fust’s attitude towards each other disintegrated, so that Fust
sued Gutenberg for two thousand guilders. In 1445 their partnership
fell apart. Johann Fust won in court, and all of Gutenberg’s materials
and equipment went to Fust, who than partnered with Peter Schoeffer,
one of Gutenbergs important assistants in his work. (Johann Gutenberg)
Schoeffer was actually Johann Fusts son-in-law. (Johannes Gutenberg I)
Fust continued to use his equipment, while Gutenberg had to start all
over again. (Johann Gutenberg)

John Gutenberg was most known for creating “letters of indulgences”
and a new version of the Bible. Both were printed in Mainz in 1454,
and are the earlist known products of this new art. (Hayes) Gutenberg
is most famous for his printing of Bibles, especially for the Catholic
Church. Actually, his first goal was to mass-produce indulgences,
which were printed slips given out by the Catholic Church, which would
take away temporal punishments in purgatory for sins committed in this
life; however these were extremely expensive, and only the wealthy
could afford them. In 1455 he produced and sold copies of a two-volume
Bible, also known as Biblia Sacra, for up to 300 florins each.
However, it was much cheaper than the previously handwritten Bibles
that took monks up to 20 each year to write. (Johann Gutenberg II) The
most famous Bible is called the Bible of 42 Lines, more commonly
called the Gutenberg Bible. This Bible is the oldest Bible in the
western world, and was completed in 1446. However, he wasn’t the one
who finished printing it, due to Fust and...

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