February is National Library Lovers Month which means this entire winter month is dedicated to those who love to read and appreciate the smell, feel and overall value of books and the buildings that house and categorize them.
Libraries give us a place to find our favorite stories and facts, study for a final exam, or write that research paper. But these buildings wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the invention of the printing press. That’s why Tristar Inc. Products review the invention of the printing press in its latest blog.
The printing press is a machine that allows text and images to be transferred to paper by means of ink. The use of ink, paper, and movable type first appeared in China, but printing first became mechanized in Europe during the mid-15th century thanks to Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of this historic machine.
Gutenberg’s machine was modeled after the ancient wine-and-olice press of the Mediterranean area, and it featured a long handle that was used to turn a heavy wooden screw, which exerted downward pressure on paper that was laid over the type mounted on a wooden platen.
At a rate of 250 sheets of paper per hour, Gutenberg’s wooden printing press dominated the printing industry for more than 300 years.
Metal printing presses began to emerge in the late 18th century. They used steam power and eventually evolved to 19th century presses which had a large central cylinder that carries the type successively printed on the paper of four impression cylinders. These machines can produce up to 8,000 sheets of paper in an hour.
With continuing advancements and the introduction of electric power, the printing industry has totally changed and books can now be printed by the thousands. But next time you’re sitting in a library surrounded by all of those books, just remember how one invention in the 15th century made it all possible.
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