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Interesting Facts about printing press inventor Johannes Gutenberg



Interesting Facts about printing press inventor Johannes Gutenberg

Search engine giant Google celebrates German goldsmith, inventor, printer, and publisher Johannes Gutenberg, a European pioneer of the mechanical metal movable-type printing press, with Doodle on April 14, 2021.

celebrating johannes gutenberg
Google Doodle for Celebrating Johannes Gutenberg

Here is a look at the life and work of Johannes Gutenberg.


  • Birth name: Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg
  • Birthdate: 1398
  • Birthplace: Mainz, Electorate of Mainz, Holy Roman Empire
  • Died on: February 3, 1468 (aged about 68)
  • Death place: Mainz, Electorate of Mainz, Holy Roman Empire
  • Father name: Friele Gensfleisch zur Laden
  • Mother name: Else Wyrich
  • Nationality: German
  • Known as: Engraver, inventor, and printer
  • Notable work: The invention of the movable-type printing press

30 Interesting Facts about Johannes Gutenberg

  1. Johannes Gutenberg was presumably born in 1398 in the German city Mainz to a patrician wealthy cloth merchant Friele Gensfleisch zur Laden and Elyse Wyrich, the daughter of a shopkeeper. Johannes was the youngest son in the family.
  1. There is almost no record about the early life of Johannes Gutenberg yet a few history specialists guess that he learned at the ‘life of Erfurt’ at some point in 1418.
  1. The family of Johannes Gutenberg needed to leave Mainz sometime in 1428 because of a furious power battle between the politicians and the guilds in the city. Since his family belonged to the highest class, they needed to leave the city and go to Strasbourg.
  1. In Strasbourg, Johannes Gutenberg began working in the jewelry industry and specialized in cutting gems.
  1. At the point when Johannes was as yet youthful, his family was banished to Strasbourg, France, after the revolt of craftsmen against the Patricians, the ruling honorable class.

Read More: Johannes Gutenberg: Google Doodle celebrates German goldsmith, the first European to invent and use movable type printing press

  1. After the bubonic plague moved through Europe, non-patricians refused to pay taxes, which touched off the revolt. While living in Strasbourg, a city known for metalcrafts, Gutenberg started experimenting.
  1. While living in Strasbourg, Johannes Gutenberg attempted to acquaint himself with bookmaking and began to grow small metal types. He made innovations in casting metal alloys that empowered simpler production.
  1. Preceding Johannes Gutenberg’s invention, Europe utilized wooden blocks to press ink onto paper. Writing a letter was simple, yet reproducing copies for additional readers took a great deal of time and cash.
  1. While still just a goldsmith, Johannes Gutenberg kept on work on his mysterious, believed in printing technology, and figured out how to get some investment from three men in Strasbourg and it is often said that his decision to, later on, sign an agreement with them in 1438 was a masterstroke.
  1. Johannes Gutenberg had asserted that his idea of movable type printing had come to him in a snapshot of light or what he called a ‘ray of light’. It was in the year 1440, while he was in Strasbourg that Gutenberg initially presented the then-revolutionary idea of printing to his partners.
  1. A significant bit of his life isn’t on record during the period somewhere in the range of 1444 and 1448. His brother-in-law gave him a loan to go into business and even though it is guessed that it may have been for a printing press; it could likewise have been utilized for his goldsmith business.
  1. In the year 1450, Johannes Gutenberg had effectively opened up his printing press and it is said the very first item that was printed to test the viability of the press was a poem in German, the exact name of which is obscure. Later on, Gutenberg had the option to take out a considerable loan from the moneylender Johann Fust for his workshop.
  1. By 1450, Johannes Gutenberg presented the first metal movable type printing press to Europe. Contrasted with 40-50 pages using the traditional wooden type, his invention empowered a great many pages each day.
  1. Gutenberg opened up his workshop in the year 1452 and it was in that workshop that he initially decided to print the Bible, which he was certain eventually a profitable venture. Nonetheless, he has another press where he published ordinary books like textbooks in Latin or Church indulgences.
  1. It was in the year 1455 that Gutenberg printed his first copy of the Bible, which later came to be known as Gutenberg’s Bible. At first, he had printed in 180 copies, and obviously, it didn’t appear to be an endeavor that would have presented to him an enormous amount of profit.
  1. By 1455, Johannes Gutenberg was intensely in debt to Fust. After a claim, Fust took over his printing press. It’s believed that Gutenberg printed the “Forty-Two-Line” Bible, otherwise called the Gutenberg Bible, at this time. He had the option to print 180 copies of the Bible, the first mass-produced book in Europe.
  1. In 1456, Johannes Gutenberg’s primary financial supporter Johann Fust sued him for misappropriation of funds and in an unfortunate new development, Gutenberg lost the court fight. He had run out of cash because of the Bible project and notwithstanding that the printing workshop was gone over to Johann Fust.
  1. Johannes Gutenberg’s innovation prompted the securing of books by the middle class in Europe for the first time. Through books, information quickly spread in Europe. He began to run his own operating shop in Mainz through a local financier named Johann Fust.
  1. What’s more, the printing of the Psalter (book of Psalms) additionally became one of Gutenberg’s significant accomplishments. It was the first book with the name of its printers on display.
  1. Johannes Gutenberg’s most significant work stays the innovation of the movable type printing that he developed and it became the premise of additional printing gadgets and styles, till the twentieth century.
  1. Even though Gutenberg’s invention of the movable printing technology was totally ignored by Johann Fust who took over his printing press; in 1465 he was honored with the title Hofmann which literally implied Gentleman of the Court.
  1. After bankruptcy, Johannes Gutenberg left the city. It was at this time that Mainz was engaged in a warlike struggle for the throne of the Archbishop.
  1. In 1465, Archbishop Adolph von Nassau honored Johannes Gutenberg with the title of Hofmann (gentleman of the court) for his accomplishments in printing. The honor gave him an annual payment, outfit for the court, and liters of tax-free grain and wine.
  1. Johannes Gutenberg passed on at 70 years old on 3 February 1468. The reason for his death is obscure and he was buried at Franciscan church in his hometown of Mainz.
  1. By 1900, the Gutenberg Museum was established in Mainz. It houses documents identified with the presentation of modern typography in Europe.
  1. In 1972, the last complete Gutenberg’s Bible was sold for $2.2 million. Today, specialists estimate that a complete copy can be sold at auction for $35 million.
  1. In 1997, his invention was proclaimed the most important innovation of the second millennium as indicated by Time-Life magazine.
  1. The metal movable type printing press prompted the mass production of books, making them more accessible and moderate for everyday citizens in Europe. The expansion of information through printed books prompted the improvement of the Renaissance, Reformation, Age of Enlightenment, and Scientific Revolution in Europe.
  1. Notwithstanding the metal movable type printing press, Johannes Gutenberg likewise presented a more reasonable oil-based ink to Europe.
  1. On April 14, 2021, Google honored Johannes Gutenberg with a Google Doodle to recognize the anniversary of the day in 2000 when the Gutenberg Museum launched a retrospective exhibition in his honor.


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