What invention combined the tools of wine-making and the skills of goldsmithing? In this episode of Johan Norberg’s New and Improved, Norberg takes us back to the mid 15th century to the invention of one of history’s most revolutionary devices – Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press.
Gutenberg revolutionized printing with movable metal type which pressed ink onto damp paper. This enabled books to be mass-produced rather than hand-copied, lowering the cost of a book from roughly six months wages to six days.
By making books accessible to Europe, and history’s great thinkers available to the common man, the printing press revolutionized the spread of ideas, encouraged debate and discovery, and unleashed the Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution.