Digging into Interesting Book History – Daily Quote

Jo Hawk

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If I said I loved books, would it surprise you? I also love history, and the two parts combine beautifully in Gutenberg’s invention of his printing press. Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon a video called “The Machine That Made Us.” The program follows the host, Stephen Fry, on his journey to discover the man, Johann Gutenberg, and his Das Werk der Bücher“the work of the books”.

Research reveals the Chinese printed with woodblocks in the second century A.D. In 1377, metal movable type was used in Korea to produce the “Jikji,” a collection of Zen Buddhist teachings. Gutenberg’s Bible was not even the first printed book in Europe. Other printers were using carved wooden blocks in their presses. While it was labor-intensive, it was still faster than the monk’s handwritten replicas. The ingenuity of Gutenberg’s press was individual metal characters. He devised a method of making cheap duplicates…

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