Johann Gutenberg

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Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (circa 1398 – February 3, 1468), a German metal-worker and inventor, achieved fame for his contributions to the technology of printing during the 1440s, including a type metal alloy and oil-based inks, a mould for casting type accurately, and a new kind of printing press based on presses used in wine-making. Tradition credits him with inventing movable type in Europe, an improvement on the block printing already in use there. By combining these elements into a production system, he allowed for the rapid printing of written materials and an information explosion in Renaissance Europe.

Gutenberg was born in the German city of Mainz, as the son of a merchant named Friele Gensfleisch zur Laden, who adopted the surname "zum Gutenberg" after the name of the neighborhood into which the family had moved.

Printing

Block printing, whereby individual sheets of paper were pressed into wooden blocks with the text and illustrations carved in, was in use in Europe and East Asia long before Gutenberg. The Koreans and Chinese knew about movable metal types at the time, but due to the complex nature of the Chinese writing system, printed material was not as abundant as that of Renaissance Europe.

It is not clear whether Gutenberg knew of these existing techniques or invented them independently. Some also claim Dutchman Laurens Coster as the first European to invent movable type.

Gutenberg certainly introduced efficient methods into book production, leading to a boom in the production of texts in Europe, in large part due to the popularity of the Gutenberg Bibles, the first mass-produced work, starting on February 23, 1455.

Gutenberg was a poor businessman, and made little money from his printing system.

Gutenberg began experimenting with metal typography after he had moved from his native town of Mainz to Strassburg (then in Germany, now Strasbourg, France) around 1430. Knowing that wood-block type involved a great deal of time and expense to reproduce because it had to be hand carved, Gutenberg concluded that metal type could be reproduced much more quickly once a single mould had been fashioned. His first efforts enabled him to mass-produce indulgences, printed slips of paper sold by the Catholic Church to remit the temporal punishments in Purgatory for sins committed in this life.

Johann Fust

Bible

In 1455 Gutenberg demonstrated the power of the printing press by selling copies of a two-volume Bible (Biblia Sacra) for 300 florins each. This was the equivalent of approximately three years' wages for an average clerk, but it was significantly cheaper than a handwritten Bible, which could take a single monk 20 years to transcribe.

The one copy of the Biblia Sacra dated 1455 went to Paris and was dated by the binder.

Debt

The money Gutenberg earned at the fair was not enough to pay Fust back for his investments. Fust sued, and the court's ruling not only effectively bankrupted Gutenberg, it awarded control of the type used in his Bible, plus much of the printing equipment, to Fust. So, while Gutenberg ran a print shop until just before his death in Mainz in 1468, Fust became the first printer to publish a book with his name on it.

Gutenberg was subsidized by the Archbishop of Mainz until his death. Gutenberg was also known to spend what little money he had on alcohol, so the Archbishop arranged for him to be paid in food and lodging, instead of coin.

Gutenberg Bibles

Gutenberg Bible, Library of Congress, Washington D.C.

The Gutenberg Bibles surviving today are sometimes called the oldest surviving books printed with movable type, although the oldest surviving book was published in Korea in 1377. As of 2003, the Gutenberg Bible census includes 11 complete copies on vellum, 1 copy of the New Testament only on vellum, 48 substantially complete integral copies on paper, with another divided copy on paper, and an illiminated page (the Bagford fragment).

Other printed works

The Bible was not Gutenberg's first printed work, for he produced approximately two dozen editions of Ars Minor, a portion of Aelius Donatus's schoolbook on Latin grammar, the first edition of which is believed to have been printed between 1451 and 1452.

Legacy

Although Gutenberg was financially unsuccessful in his lifetime, his invention spread quickly, and news and books began to travel across Europe far faster than before. It fed the growing Renaissance, and since it greatly facilitated scientific publishing, was a major factor in originating the scientific revolution. Literacy also increased as a result. Gutenberg's inventions are sometimes considered the turning point from the Mediaeval Era to the Early Modern Period.

The term incunabulum refers to a western printed book produced between the first work of Gutenberg and the end of the year 1500.

There are many statues of Gutenberg in Germany, one of the more famous being a work by Thorvaldsen, in Mainz, which is also home to the Gutenberg Museum.

The Gutenberg Galaxy and Project Gutenberg commemorate Gutenberg's name.

Related articles

  • Printing
  • Typography
  • Incunabulum
  • Francysk Skaryna
  • William Caxton
  • World Almanac's Ten Most Influential People of the Second Millennium

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The Gutenberg Galaxy and Project Gutenberg commemorate Gutenberg's name. See also: Hertz, Heinrich Rudolf. There are many statues of Gutenberg in Germany, one of the more famous being a work by Thorvaldsen, in Mainz, which is also home to the Gutenberg Museum. It is not believed his carcinoma was a result of his work with ionizing radiation because his investigations were only for a short time and he was one of the few pioneers in the field who used protective lead shields routinely. The term incunabulum refers to a western printed book produced between the first work of Gutenberg and the end of the year 1500. Röntgen died in 1923 of carcinoma of the bowel. Gutenberg's inventions are sometimes considered the turning point from the Mediaeval Era to the Early Modern Period. Although he accepted an appointment at Columbia University in New York City and had actually purchased transatlantic tickets, the outbreak of World War I changed his plans and he remained in Munich for the rest of his career.

Literacy also increased as a result. Röntgen had family in the United States (in Iowa) and at one time he planned to emmigrate. It fed the growing Renaissance, and since it greatly facilitated scientific publishing, was a major factor in originating the scientific revolution. In 1888, he became the physics chair at the University of Würzburg and in 1900 he became the physics chair at the University of Munich, by special request of the Bavarian government. Although Gutenberg was financially unsuccessful in his lifetime, his invention spread quickly, and news and books began to travel across Europe far faster than before. In 1876, he returned to Strasbourg as a professor of Physics and in 1879, he became the Chair of the physics department at the University of Giessen. The Bible was not Gutenberg's first printed work, for he produced approximately two dozen editions of Ars Minor, a portion of Aelius Donatus's schoolbook on Latin grammar, the first edition of which is believed to have been printed between 1451 and 1452. In 1867 he became a lecturer at Strasbourg University and in 1871 became a professor at the Academy of Agriculture at Hohenheim, Württemberg.

As of 2003, the Gutenberg Bible census includes 11 complete copies on vellum, 1 copy of the New Testament only on vellum, 48 substantially complete integral copies on paper, with another divided copy on paper, and an illiminated page (the Bagford fragment). from the University of Zurich. The Gutenberg Bibles surviving today are sometimes called the oldest surviving books printed with movable type, although the oldest surviving book was published in Korea in 1377. In 1869, he graduated with a Ph.D. Gutenberg was also known to spend what little money he had on alcohol, so the Archbishop arranged for him to be paid in food and lodging, instead of coin. He then began to attend the Polytechnic at Zurich to study mechanical engineering. Gutenberg was subsidized by the Archbishop of Mainz until his death. In 1865, he attended the University of Utrecht.

So, while Gutenberg ran a print shop until just before his death in Mainz in 1468, Fust became the first printer to publish a book with his name on it. He later attended Utrecht Technical School, from which he was expelled for producing a caricature of one of the teachers, a "crime" he claimed not to have committed. Fust sued, and the court's ruling not only effectively bankrupted Gutenberg, it awarded control of the type used in his Bible, plus much of the printing equipment, to Fust. He received his early education at the Institute of Martinus Herman van Doorn. The money Gutenberg earned at the fair was not enough to pay Fust back for his investments. His family moved to Apeldoorn in the Netherlands when he was three years old. The one copy of the Biblia Sacra dated 1455 went to Paris and was dated by the binder. He was born in Lennep (now a part of Remscheid), Germany, to a clothmaker.

This was the equivalent of approximately three years' wages for an average clerk, but it was significantly cheaper than a handwritten Bible, which could take a single monk 20 years to transcribe. (On November 2004 IUPAC named the element Roentgenium after him as well.). In 1455 Gutenberg demonstrated the power of the printing press by selling copies of a two-volume Bible (Biblia Sacra) for 300 florins each. He did not even want the rays to be named after him. His first efforts enabled him to mass-produce indulgences, printed slips of paper sold by the Catholic Church to remit the temporal punishments in Purgatory for sins committed in this life. Like Pierre Curie would do several years later he refused to take out any patents related to his discovery on moral grounds. Knowing that wood-block type involved a great deal of time and expense to reproduce because it had to be hand carved, Gutenberg concluded that metal type could be reproduced much more quickly once a single mould had been fashioned. Röntgen donated the monetary reward from the prize to his university.

Gutenberg began experimenting with metal typography after he had moved from his native town of Mainz to Strassburg (then in Germany, now Strasbourg, France) around 1430. The award was officially, "in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by the discovery of the remarkable rays subsequently named after him". Gutenberg was a poor businessman, and made little money from his printing system. In 1901 Röntgen was awarded the very first Nobel Prize in Physics. Gutenberg certainly introduced efficient methods into book production, leading to a boom in the production of texts in Europe, in large part due to the popularity of the Gutenberg Bibles, the first mass-produced work, starting on February 23, 1455. None of his conclusions have yet been proven false. Some also claim Dutchman Laurens Coster as the first European to invent movable type. He published a total of 3 papers on x-rays between 1895 and 1897.

It is not clear whether Gutenberg knew of these existing techniques or invented them independently. Röntgen was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Medicine from University of Würzburg after his discovery. The Koreans and Chinese knew about movable metal types at the time, but due to the complex nature of the Chinese writing system, printed material was not as abundant as that of Renaissance Europe. On January 5, 1896, an Austrian newspaper reported Röntgen's discovery of a new type of radiation. Block printing, whereby individual sheets of paper were pressed into wooden blocks with the text and illustrations carved in, was in use in Europe and East Asia long before Gutenberg. Röntgen's original paper, "On A New Kind Of X-Rays," was published 50 days later on December 28, 1895. . He later reported that it was at this point that he determined to continue his experiments in secrecy, because he feared for his professional reputation if his observations were in error.

Gutenberg was born in the German city of Mainz, as the son of a merchant named Friele Gensfleisch zur Laden, who adopted the surname "zum Gutenberg" after the name of the neighborhood into which the family had moved. Imagine Röntgen's astonishment as he saw the first radiographic image, his own flickering ghostly skeleton on the barium platinocyanide screen. By combining these elements into a production system, he allowed for the rapid printing of written materials and an information explosion in Renaissance Europe. At one point while he was investigating the ability of various materials to stop the rays, he brought a small piece of lead into position while a discharge was occurring. Tradition credits him with inventing movable type in Europe, an improvement on the block printing already in use there.
. Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (circa 1398 – February 3, 1468), a German metal-worker and inventor, achieved fame for his contributions to the technology of printing during the 1440s, including a type metal alloy and oil-based inks, a mould for casting type accurately, and a new kind of printing press based on presses used in wine-making. He had planned to use the screen in the next step of his experiment and would have made the discovery at that point a few moments later.

World Almanac's Ten Most Influential People of the Second Millennium. The idea that he just happened to notice the barium platinocyanide screen totally misrepresents his investigative powers. William Caxton. However, the investigators did not realize the significance of their discovery, filed their film for further reference, and thereby lost the opportunity for recognition of one of the greatest physics discoveries of all time. Francysk Skaryna. In fact, x-rays were produced and a film image recorded at the University of Pennsylvania two years earlier. Incunabulum. With the investigations he and his colleagues in various countries were pursuing, the discovery was imminent.

Typography. Röntgen's discovery of x-rays was no accident and he was not working alone. Printing. Although the new rays would eventually come to bear his name when they became known as Röntgen Rays, he always preferred the term x-rays. In the following weeks he ate and slept in his laboratory as he investigated nearly all the properties of the new rays he temporarily termed x-rays, using the mathematical designation for something unknown. Novermber 8 was a Friday and Röntgen took advantage of the weekend to repeat his experiments and make his first notes.

He speculated that a new kind of ray might be responsible. He quickly determined that the screen would fluoresce at a distance from the tube much greater than his previous tests. Röntgen spent the next several hours repeating the experiment again and again. Striking a match, he discovered the shimmering had come from the location of the barium platinocyanide screen he had been intending to use next.

To be sure he tried several more discharges and saw the same shimmering each time. It was at this point that he noticed a faint shimmering from a bench a meter away from the tube. As he passed the Ruhmkorff coil charge through the tube, he determined that the cover was light-tight and turned to prepare the next step of the experiment. Before setting up the barium platinocyanide screen to test his idea, Röntgen darkened the room to test the opacity of his cardboard cover.

He covered the Hifforf-Crookes tube with the cardboard and attached electrodes to a Ruhmkorff coil to generate an electrostatic charge. He carefully constructed a black cardboard covering similar to the one he had used on the Lenard tube. In the late afternoon of November 8, 1895 he determined to test his idea. It occured to Röntgen that the Hifforf-Crookes tube, which had a much thicker glass wall than the Lenard tube, might also cause this fluorescent effect.

He knew the cardboard covering prevented light from escaping, yet Röntgen observed that the invisible cathode rays caused a fluorescent effect on a small cardboard screen painted with barium platinocyanide when it was placed close to the aluminum window. In early November Röntgen was repeating an experiment with one of Lenard's tubes in which a thin aluminum window had been added to permit the cathode rays to exit the tube but a cardboard covering was added to protect the aluminum from damage by the strong electrostatic field that is necessary to produce the cathode rays. By late 1895 these investigators were beginning to explore the properties of cathode rays outside the tubes. During 1895 Röntgen was using equipment developed by his colleagues Hertz, Hifforf, Crookes, and Lenard to explore the effects of high tension electrical discharges in evacuated glass tubes.

Röntgen's name is usually given as Roentgen in English, therefore most scientific and medical references to him are found under this spelling. The machine which Röntgen built to emit these rays, was the x-ray machine. Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (March 27, 1845 – February 10, 1923) was a German physicist, of the University of Würzburg, who, on November 8, 1895, produced wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation that are now known as x-rays or Röntgen Rays.

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