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The perfection of the printing process by Johannes Gutenberg is known as the origin of mass communication Rubinstein 1999 The printing press was the first practical method of communicating information and ideas from a single to source to a large distant audience Rubinstein 1999 The increased usage of the printing press lead to text ranging from theological to narrative being wide spread Long before the invention of Gutenbergs printing press the Chinese used wooden block printing ink and movable clay type Baran 2002 p42 Although European innovations came much later the European culture was dramatically affected by the printing innovations European need for documentation grew rapidly with the expansion of trade and religion Rubinstein 1999 For centuries sacred texts were hand copied and despite growth in the scribal profession scribes could not keep up with the demand for textsRubinstein 1999 Johannes Gutenberg and goldsmith and businessman from a mining town in southern Germany was intrigued by the profit making potential of a device designed for mass printing Gutenbergs Invention 2002 Furthermore when developing the printing press Gutenberg combined features of existing technologies such as textile papermaking and winepresses Rubinstein 1999 Gutenbergs significant innovation was the efficient molding and casting of movable metal type Rubinstein 1999 Each letter was carved into the end of a steel punch which was hammered into a copper black the copper impression was then inserted into a mold and molten alloy made of lead antimony and bismuth was poured into the mold Gutenbergs Invention 2002 The quick drying alloy resulted in an inverse image of a letter which was then attacked to a lead base Gutenbergs Invention 2002 Gutenberg took much pride in his printing and stressed quality over quantity Baran 2002 p 42 Gutenberg was especially particular about the printing of the Bible and therefore used the highest quality paper and ink Baran 2002 p 42 Despite the rapid success of Gutenbergs printing press Gutenberg failed to repay a loan
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