Johannes Gutenberg, German printer

Johannes Gutenberg, German printer

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Credit: COLLECTION ABECASIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Johannes Gutenberg (1398-1468). 1890 illustration of a bronze statue by David d'Angers of the German blacksmith, goldsmith, printer and publisher Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg. Gutenberg is best known for introducing modern book printing. His invention of mechanical movable type printing in around 1439 started the Printing Revolution and is widely regarded as the most important event of the modern period. It played a key role in the development of the Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution, and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses.

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