Dedicated to John Gutenberg, today’s Google doodle is dedicated to honoring the blacksmith who made the most important invention of the second millennium.
Gutenberg was a German blacksmith, goldsmith, printer and publisher who introduced printing to Europe. Altough Gutenberg himself did not invent mechanical printing with mobile elements, he was the first to compile and implement the method for mass printing of books.
Gutenberg’s typographical method is widely regarded as the most important invention of the second millennium and the event that ushered in the modern Age of human history. He played an important role in the development of the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution and laid the foundation for the modern – knowledge – based economy and the dissemination of learning to the masses.
Born, according to the relevant Wikipedia entry, according to the prevailing version in 1397 and died on February 3, 1468 at the age of 71 years. His birthplace is Mainz, Germany and he is considered the “father” of typography. Around 1430 he settled in Strasbourg. In March 1434, a letter to him indicated that he was living at that time, where he had some relatives on his mother’s side. In Strasbourg he began experimenting with metallurgy and in 1434 took his first steps in printing.
Gutenberg is considered the “father” of mechanical printing, although mobile printing had already been made by the Dutchman Laurentio Koster in Haarlem, because he was the first to conceive the idea of the printing method as a whole.
The trained goldsmith, a member of the respective guild, has been experimenting with moving wooden characters since 1434. The first results appear in 1436 when he printed popular, religious books.
After various attempts, in 1441, with the help of an improved ink, he succeeded in printing both sides of a page of paper.
The ultimate success in exploiting his invention came with the printing, in 1455, of the 42-line Latin Bible in 180 copies, most on plain paper and some on excellent quality paper (vellum), an aesthetically pleasing typographic work. although it is only its first typographic product. It is widely known as the Gutenberg Bible. It is the first mass-produced book, which for many is the best and most technically sound book ever printed.