Johannes Gutenberg and the Printing Press
From the Series Pivotal Moments in History
Can one invention really change the world? Before the mid-fifteenth century, books were printed by hand, making them rare and expensive. Reading and learning remained a privilege of the wealthy—until Johannes Gutenberg developed a machine called the printing press. Gutenberg, a German metalworker, began in the 1440s by making movable type—small metal letters that were arranged to form words and sentences, replacing handwritten letters. Movable type fit into frames on the printing press, and the press then produced many copies of the same page. As movable type and the printing press made book production much faster and less expensive, reading material of all kinds became available to a far wider audience. In Gutenberg’s time, Europe was already on the brink of a new age—an explosion of world exploration, scientific discoveries, and political and religious changes. Gutenberg’s printing press helped propel Europe into the modern era, and his legacy remains in the thousands of books and newspapers printed each year to keep us informed, entertained, and connected. Indeed, Gutenberg’s development of the printing press became one of history’s pivotal moments.
|Interest Level||Grade 9 - Grade 12|
|Reading Level||Grade 9|
|Genre||Nonfiction, Young Adult|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Twenty-First Century Books ™|
|Graphics||1-color illustrations, Full-color illustrations|
|Features||Author/Illustrator biography, Author/Illustrator note, Bibliography/further reading, Endnote, Glossary, Index, Maps, Photo captions, Primary source quotations/images, Pronunciation guide, Sidebars, Source notes, Table of contents, and Timeline|
Author: Diana Childress
Diana Childress writes nonfiction for the school and library market, mainly on historical topics but also on art, science, archaeology, and literature. She has published nine books, as well as articles in Highlights for Children, Cricket, Calliope, Cobblestone, Faces, Dig!, and Footsteps. Her book Chaucer's England was selected by Bank Street College for their list of Best Children's Books of the Year, 2001 Edition.