Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Johannes Gutenberg, often called “the father of the printing press”, who somewhere around the year 1439 introduced the technology of moveable-type printing to Europe. Books and other materials printed using Gutenberg’s technology were easier and quicker to produce than earlier hand-copied books or books printed using full-page, hand-carved blocks. This resulted in cheaper books, which over the next few centuries led to more widespread book ownership (particularly of the Bible) and an increase in literacy across much of Europe. By 1500, barely 60 years after Gutenberg’s invention, a Venetian named Aldus Manutius had invented the compact “pocketbook,” and there were 20 million books in existence. The rest, as they say, is history.
If you follow this blog, you’re here because you love reading. Take a few minutes to thank Herr Gutenberg!
Note: if you’re wondering why Google is honoring Gutenberg today, according to CNet it is because today marks the 21st anniversary of the Gutenberg Museum’s retrospective exhibit on Johannes Gutenberg’s life.
Find out more about Gutenberg and the moveable-type printing press:
- “Johannes Gutenberg” (Encyclopedia Britannica)
- “Johannes Gutenberg” (Wikipedia)
- “Moveable type” (Wikipedia)
- “Aldus Manutius” (Wikipedia)