18 October, 2009

Gutenberg's Printing Press


Today in Story of the World, we learned about the beginning of the Renaissance, and how Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press.




Here us a Youtube video explaining how the printing press worked:

Demonstrating the Gutenberg Printing Press

This is a post by Jeanne at A Peaceful Day about a beautiful pop-up story book of Gutenberg.

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Bethany's Narration:

Johannes Gutenberg made a printing press from an old winepress. He stamped the letterblock with ink made from soot and linseed oil, and put it in a type of folder. Then he turned a wheel and a lever to flatten it, squeezing the paper and the block together. Then he turned the wheel back to push the folder back and took the paper out. On it would be printed the words that were on the letterblock.

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Emily's Narration:

His printing press worked like this: taking raw cow hide leather he soaked it in cow wee overnight then rinsed it by hand. Then using ink made of linseed oil and soot, and a roller, he rolled the ink onto the leather. (This refers to the "pounders" he used to pound the ink onto the letterblock).

Next he carefully placed a piece of paper in a folder-like thing called a frisket. He placed the inked leather on his machine. He then rolled the frisket with the paper in it over the leather and turned a lever to press the ink onto the paper.

On the youtube video the man demonstrating printed a page of the Gutenberg Bible. It had a space left for when it got illuminated and illustrated. For Monks writing book by hand it would take years to print the entire Gutenberg Bible. Johannes Gutenberg and twenty helpers printed 450 Bibles in one year. The very first book he printed was the Gutenberg Bible.


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Gutenberg is credited with printing the first Bible. He also printed paper indulgences, sold by the Roman Catholic church to pardon the buyer from of his sins. This is what sparked Martin Luther's Ninety-five Theses, which where 95 reasons why the church should not sell indulgences. Luther had studied the book of Romans which convinced him that God promises forgiveness to all who repent and believe in Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

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Here is a picture of a page from one of Gutenberg's Bibles:



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Gutenbergprinted the text, leaving a blank space for the illumination of the first letters of a chapter. The illumination and decoration was completed by monks.


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1 comment:

Dana said...

I have been watching a lecture series about European history. It is amazing how much of an influence the printing press had on history!!! For example, it made the Protestant Reformation possible... and the world was surely changed by that!

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