Johann Gutenberg and the printing press

Over 500 years ago, in 1445, Johannes Gensfleisch the Young, also called Gutenberg, revolutionized the printing press. Gutenberg invented not the printing press itself as is often wrongly assumed, but a new process of printing.
This new process utilized many single metallic letters which could be joined together in lines and thus made it possible to print extensive works quickly and cheaply.

The Beginning of the Gospel of John
from the Gutenberg Bible

These small printing letters, which soon thereafter became mass-produced, could be recycled, arranged and rearranged into new combinations.

The printing press was immensely important for the dissemination of the Reformation ideas of Luther and his fellow thinkers. Only Gutenberg's printing system enabled the targeted and quick distribution of texts that were printed in large numbers.

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