| Printing was one of
the most important technical advances in history. It was invented
by Johann Gutenberg, a German from Mainz, in the 1450s. An account
life can be found on this website.
Much earlier, books such as the Diamond Sutra had been
produced in China and Korea with type made first of wood and
later of bronze. Gutenberg's invention was different: it was possible
to print many copies of the same text speedily. It had great commercial
potential, but it did not make Gutenberg a rich man. Information
on how he produced his Bible.
It was crucial to choose the right texts in order to succeed in
the market. More on the
texts printed by Gutenberg.
Much of what we know about Gutenberg's invention comes from a detailed
study of surviving books from his press. More
information on Gutenberg's works in the British Library.