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Evolution of Books

By MelisaM
  • 3500 BCE

    3500 BC - Symbols onto Tablets

    3500 BC - Symbols onto Tablets
    Around 3500 BC, Sumarians lived in southern Mesopotamia. The Sumarians devised a "cuneiform" alphabet. The symbols were etched into clay tablets with triangle shape styles called "Calamus." The Sumarians are believed to be the first people ever to use the Cuneiform script, the earliest known written system in the world. They contributed to the evolution of books by using the earliest written system to create stories onto a "Calamus" to share with people.
  • Period: 3500 BCE to 200 BCE

    BC Era

    The BC Era from 3500 BC to 200 BC involved changes in writing styles.
  • 500 BCE

    500/200 BC - Parchment

    500/200 BC - Parchment
    Parchment is a thin material made from calfskin, sheepskin, or goat skin. It was first developed as a substitute for papyrus. It derives its name from the city of Pergamon. It became known as the "finest writing material ever devised." The modern papers not reaching the quality of the finest vellum. This contributed to the evolution of books by involving into a more paper-like quality for books to be made of.
  • Period: 500 BCE to 1501

    Improvement Era

    The Improvement Era from 500 BC to 1501 AD involved changes in paper types, book covers, writing format, and production of books.
  • 105

    105 AD - The Paper Revolution

    105 AD - The Paper Revolution
    A Chinese eunuch named Cai Lun invented paper-making with the intention of writing. The process of paper-making involves making a mixture of fibers in water to form a suspension and then allowing this suspension to drain through a screen so that a mat fibers remains. Then pressed and dried to make paper. After the paper is dried it is often run between heavy rollers to produce a harder writing surface. This contributed to the evolution of books by making a more stable base of paper.
  • 400

    400/600 AD - Illustrations Added

    400/600 AD - Illustrations Added
    These early manuscript were written on Parchment rather than the more "modern" paper due to the quality of Parchment over paper. They were decorated in a sliver or even gold with striking colors and very detailed designs. The earliest known examples of illustrated manuscripts originate from Italy and the eastern Roman Empire. This contributed to the evolution of books by adding illustrations as book covers to catch the readers's eye.
  • 868

    868 AD - The First Printed Book

    868 AD - The First Printed Book
    The first book was printed on a paper in China, using a block of wood that had characters carved in reverse relief. Ink was then placed on the block of wood to create a print on paper. This contributed to the evolution of books by being the foundation of a future printing press.
  • 1436

    1436 AD - Printing Press

    1436 AD - Printing Press
    Around 1436, Johannes Gutenberg, a German goldsmith. He invented the printing press. He was far from the first to automate the book-printing process. His invention was a device that allowed for the mass production of uniform printed matter, mainly text in the form of books, pamphlets, and newspaper. He contributed to books by building a printing press that made it possible to put information on paper quickly and cheaply, leading to an explosion of books, pamphlets, pictures, and newspapers.
  • 1501

    1501 AD - The Precursor to the Modern Paperback

    1501 AD - The Precursor to the Modern Paperback
    Aldus Manutis was an Italian humanist who founded the Aldine press in Venice. He invented the pocket book editions of the classic in Greek and Latin so that all could easily transport in a pocket or a satchel. To this end he introduced the italic type, which was not used for emphasis it is today but for his pocket books due to the narrow and compact letters forms. He contributed to books by creating the idea of pocket-sized books when transporting also introducing new writing formats.
  • 1932 AD - Audiobook

    1932 AD - Audiobook
    Audiobooks first emerged in 1932 with the establishment of a recording studio by The American Foundation for the Blind, which created recordings of books on vinyl records. Each side held about 15 minutes of speech. The company was owned by Dr.Kirk Adams. They contributed by creating the first audiobook and the first step into the technology world for books.
  • Period: to

    Technology Era

    The Technology Era from 1932 AD to 1995 AD involved shifting books towards technology by having audiobooks, microprocessors, ebooks, CD, and online stores.
  • 1971 AD - The First Microprocessor Invented

    1971 AD - The First Microprocessor Invented
    1971, it was this date that the very first commercial microprocessor became available in the Intel 4004 although there were 3 companies to produce a microprocessor all about the same time with Texas Instruments TMS 1000 and Garrett AiResearch's CADC. These breakthroughs in computer design would ultimately lead to the technological revolution we are currently a part of and enable the digitisation of the book. This contributed to books by adding extra step towards digital books.
  • 1971 AD - Ebook

    1971 AD - Ebook
    The first ebook was created in 1971 by Michael S. Hart. An e-book or electronic book is a non-editable text that is converted into a digital format and displayed and read on an electronic device, such as a tablet or smartphone. He contributed to books by creating digital format books that can be read through a online device.
  • 1985 AD - First Books on CD

    1985 AD - First Books on CD
    In 1985 one of the USA's largest publishers of encyclopedia published a text-only version of the Academic American Encyclopedia, which re-named "The New Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia". This has the distinction of being the very first book to published on a CD. Since this time several books have been published on this media but by far the most popular use for this format has been the audiobook. This contributed to books by being newer version of audiobooks on CDs not cassette tape.
  • 1995 AD - Books sold Online

    1995 AD - Books sold Online
    The very first online bookseller, Amazon is launched by Jeff Bezos in 1995 offering a wide choice of books to buy online. Bezos' idea was to create an online bookstore that was not limited to the volume offered by traditional book shops or even mail order books. This contributed to books by expanding ways to get books to be sold through online stores or mailed to the customers.