May 16, 2012


It is a little-known but undisputed historical fact that Johannes Gutenberg did not invent the printing press. Though the Gutenberg Bible was certainly the first mass produced printed work, it was hardly the first printed book — nor was it even the first made using movable type. Chinese and Korean inventors had been producing printed books for centuries before Gutenberg was born.

One of the truisms of Western history is that a German guy named Gutenberg invented the printing press, changing the course of civilization forever. There is no doubt that Gutenberg’s printing press was a novel technology. But to say that he invented the printing press is like saying Steve Jobs or Bill Gates invented the computer.

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