SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Printery. Engraving of a 15th century printery. At left a worker is applying ink to a printing plate prior to use. A plate in the printing press (right) is being pressed down horizontally onto the paper; the necessary pressure is achieved by turning the screw-threaded column. At centre the owner of the printery and clients examine printed documents. Though known previously in China for many centuries, European printing was independently invented by Johann Gutenberg in about 1450. Between 1450 and 1500 roughly 6000 separate works were printed. The ability to mass- produce text cheaply greatly advanced the spread of knowledge.
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