We spoke in class about the importance of the printing press and how it's impact in society was comparable to that of the new technologies, specially Internet. So I thought about putting in here just a short overview of it's modern development, just for reference's sake.
"Johannes Gutenberg's work on the printing press began in approximately 1436 when he partnered with Andreas Dritzehn—a man he had previously instructed in gem-cutting—and Andreas Heilmann, owner of a paper mill.However, it was not until a 1439 lawsuit against Gutenberg that an official record exists; witnesses' testimony discussed Gutenberg's types, an inventory of metals (including lead), and his type molds.
The printing revolution:
The phenomenon of the printing revolution can be approached from a quantitative perspective which has its focus on the printing output and the spread of the related technology. It can also be analysed in terms of how the wide circulation of information and ideas acted as an "agent of change" (Eisenstein) in Europe and global society in general.
The invention of mechanical movable type printing led to a large increase in printing activities across Europe within only a few decades. From a single print shop in Mainz, Germany, printing had spread to no less than around 270 cities in Central, Western and Eastern Europe by the end of the 15th century.
European printing presses of around 1600 were capable of producing 3,600 impressions per workday. By comparison, movable type printing in the Far East, which did not know presses and was solely done by manually rubbing the back of the paper to the page, did not exceed an output of forty pages per day.
The printing press was an important step towards the democratization of knowledge.Within fifty or sixty years of the invention of the printing press, the entire classical canon had been reprinted and widely promulgated throughout Europe (Eisenstein, 1969; 52).
At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, by 1800, Lord Stanhope had built a press completely from cast iron which reduced the force required by 90%, while doubling the size of the printed area. With a capacity of 480 pages per hour, it doubled the output of the old style press.
Patented in 1810, Koenig had designed a steam press "much like a hand press connected to a steam engine. Koenig and Bauer sold two of their first models to The Times in London in 1814, capable of 1,100 impressions per hour.
The steam powered rotary printing press, invented in 1843 in the United States by Richard M. Hoe, allowed millions of copies of a page in a single day. Mass production of printed works flourished after the transition to rolled paper, as continuous feed allowed the presses to run at a much faster pace.
By the late 1930s or early 1940s, printing presses had increased substantially in efficiency: a model by Platen Printing Press was capable of performing 2,500 to 3,000 impressions per hour."
"September 7, 2005 The Mitsubishi DIAMONDSTAR is the world's fastest double width newspaper offset press – it is as tall as a four story building with a printing speed of 90,000 full colour, 96-page broadsheet copies per hour." The world’s biggest and fastest newspaper press
Check the wiki article if you have the time, and remember you can always add something you think is missing, to the article. The more people contributing to the wikis the better they become for everyone :)
~ César ~