Johann Gutenberg and the Impact of the Printing Press

2679 WordsJun 18, 201811 Pages
“Johann Gutenberg and the Impact of the Printing Press” Johann Gutenberg is credited for the invention of the printing press, a monumental advancement in technology that changed the world forever. It has been regarded as, “one of the most important inventions in the history of humankind.” What was once a tedious process, became a fast, easy, and cheap way to produce great quantities of books. It granted public access to a wealth of knowledge never seen before. Rapid spread of ideas was the catalyst of social and cultural revolutions, the consequences of which are still apparent today. The printing press can be thought of as the internet of the 15th century, a facilitative mechanism of social, economic, scientific, and religious.…show more content…
In fact, he is supposed to have assumed three separate names and lived in four different cities over the course of his lifetime. The most discouraging of all handicaps, is that the documents implicating his involvement with the printing press are all purposefully vague as to keep his activities secret. The ambiguity of his life sparked an ongoing debate over what the existing evidence actually means and how it should be interpreted among historians. After two hundred years or so, historians finally came to an agreement on the general facts about his life. The accepted story of Gutenberg’s life begins in the late 14th century with his birth. He was born into a primarily patrician family in the city of Mainz, Germany. Eruption of violence and political unrest in the city forced him to leave the city multiple times. After being exiled, Gutenberg usually took up residence in Eltville, a small village close by, or Strassburg, a larger and wealthier city. Records suggest that he may have attended the University of Erfurt, where a person by the name of ‘Johanne de Alta Villa' seemed to enroll. The change in name could be due to moving to Eltville. The evidence implicating his involvement in the invention of the printing press is shaky. In 1434, Gutenberg agreed to teach three apprentices, Hans Riffe, Andreas Heilmann, and Andreas Dritzehn, the craft of polishing stones for a fee
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