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1584 engraving of Johann Gutenberg

1584 engraving of Johann Gutenberg

H407/0085

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Johann Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press. He was born in Mainz (Germany) in 1398 and died in 1468. Before Gutenberg, books were laboriously produced by hand. Their number was small and their avaiability confined to universities, monasteries and the very rich. In 1454 Gutenberg produced the first printed book, known as the 'Gutenberg Bible'. It is considered to be the most beautiful book ever printed and remains the most valued. Gutenberg went into debt producing it and was sued for the money. He lost the case and his tools, the press and the bibles were seized. Having revolutionized the world and the word he died in poverty.

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