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Nicholas Terpstra

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Thursday October 7 2010
Invention of Printing
Major Themes
How was it invented?
Books, audiences and printers
Cultural consequences
Began approx. 1450- in Mainz
Johannes Gutonburg (1395-1468)- printing with movable metal type blocks
Before Books
Manuscripts were written by hand- slower
Job of monks to write either for work or devotion
Monk got manuscript by finding an owner then contacting and borrowing a copy
This set a model for other books to be produced
Book sellers sped up process- model similar to university classroom
oProf. would read text and students write word for word at the end of the course you have a
text book
oOral transmission: 1 reader to 10 writters
**whole population could read and books were very expensive**
Ideas/ manuscripts spread slowly- pr inting revolutionized this
3things to happen
Development of: 1. Type- block printing- wooden blocks carved reverse with ink and press paper
Man y p ages c a n b e p rinted
Es s ent i al l y for p ics o f saints o r artwork
From china so i t was v ery ex p ensive and t i me co n suming to c a rve,
the ink wo u ld also ruin the b lock- n o t g o o d
The wood en b lock were tried wi t h wh o le words an d in d ivid u al
let t ers
*solved the p ro b lem*- metal b locks were es s ent i al- wo u ld n t ruin
Gutemb u rg trained wi t h metal so h e h ad a g o o d b a c k g ro u n d
2 . Ink- ink was water b ased an d therefore wo u ld n t stay o n metal- they n e e ded
an ink that wo u ld stay
- they u sed p aint- g rin d p aint p igment and mix wi t h egg whi t e which was
used b y p ainters then
- the egg whi t e was then chan g ed to o i l
3 . Paper - n e e ded to fin d / cre a te p aper b e c a use b efore man u scripts were wri t t e
parchment o r b el l um (animal skin)
- man u scripts cost was ex p ensive b e c a use they h ad to slau g h ter she e p f
skin which was u n re a l i st i c
- Euro p e a n p aper was made f r om rags shred d ed , p u lp fibre an d thre a d
then mixed wi t h water, spre a d the mush an d let water d ry o u t, sq u e e z e an d
compres s the p aper fibres to g ether and the p aper d rys more
- the cost savin g s was 1 /6 the cost o f b efore
-ther f ore b o o k s were p ro d u c e d q u icker, che a per an d re a di l y
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