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Engraving of the kind of press invented by Johann Gutenberg, on which the 'Gutenberg Bible', the first book ever printed, appeared in 1454. The type is laid on a flat bed, inked, overlaid with paper, then slid under the press for printing. Gutenberg, inventor of the first printing press, was born in Mainz, Germany in 1398 and died in 1468. Before Gutenberg, books were laboriously produced by hand. Their availability was confined to universities, monasteries and the very rich. Gutenberg ran into debt whilst printing the bible and was sued. He lost the case and his tools, the press & bibles were seized. Having revolutionized the world and the word he died in poverty.
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