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How Johannes Gutenberg changed our world 560 years ago

W

hat today would have been if Johannes Gutenberg hadn’t invented the mechanical movable type printing? You wouldn’t know. Cry as long as you like, scream until your voice stops but you definitely wouldn’t know. Unless you were one of the few, privileged, undoubtedly rich who had the money to exchange currencies for knowledge, you would not be informed of the truth, the marvels, the saints and the sinners, the sciences, the laws, the everything. When the German goldsmith masterfully conducted his ideas to develop the book that was destined to change the world forever, in 42-lines per time, history was made. A massive leap both in culture and technology, printing press and movable type didn't just provide the mean to an accessible information, they became the full embodiment of human thought.

Without this entrepreneurial engineers whose first mass-produced work started on February 23, 1455 you wouldn’t have the slightest idea of the cosmos we inhabit 

The man who found inspiration in his wine region of birth was an undisputed revolutionist. He made knowledge available not only to the monasteries, universities and wealthy who had access to the world of it and that was the absolute outcome of an orchestral combination of technologies and ideas that came together to produce the first production of books to be printed in Europe. Gutenberg and his run of 180 Bibles were the landmarks of a new territory. Pages of consistent beauty numbered over 1,200 at a size of 307 x 445 mm, this enticing mix of mechanical elements and flowing liquid ased on the golden section shape, based on the irrational number 0.618.... (a ratio of 5:8) is a piece of art.

From the system developed to produce the metal type of every variant of each letter to the staggering number of 5,000 animals needed for the vellum of the lavish editions to the linen cloth-based paper from Piedmont, the whole process took almost two decades to come to fruition. And what Gutenberg and those in his employ created didn’t undertake any major changes for at least another 350 years. 

With his 42-line Bible, ideas pertaining to Government, Humanity, Science and Mathematics were brought back from antiquity while new ideas could be spread like never before. Although Johannes’s Gutenberg story took a tragic turn as his last investor disallowed him entry and access to his equipment, although he never went on to great riches and never met the unified praise of his lost masterpiece the truth is printed loud and clear. Without this entrepreneurial engineers whose first mass-produced work started on February 23, 1455 you wouldn’t have the slightest idea of the cosmos we inhabit and that would be the world’s greatest shame to scream on.