Did Gutenberg Really Invent Printing Using Movable Type?

That’s what researchers Blaise Aguera y Arcas and Paul Needham sought to find out. BBC’s site has the details within its Renaissance Secrets section, What Did Gutenberg Invent? According to their fascinating research, a system of printing from movable metal type was developed in Korea using Chinese characters an entire generation before Gutenberg is thought to have invented it. However, there’s no evidence that this was brought to Western Europe. Even if Gutenberg did learn this from Korea, this is what the BBC states as defining an invention:

Invention requires putting together disparate elements in a novel way, making a cohesive, coherent process that can then be carried on by many different people. It was Gutenberg’s combination of the printing press, type, paper and ink that made the invention a success.

The researchers, using computer analysis, also discovered that Gutenberg created the type in a much different way than previously thought, among other things. Good reading. Watch out, though, as there’s lots more like this at BBC’s site, and hours could easily disappear.

[Link from Typo-L Discussion List.]

07:06 am, pst20 November, 2001 Comments, Trackbacks ·';}?>

Categories: Typography


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