History of Printing Presses

  • May 27, 888

    The Diamond Sutra

    The Diamond Sutra, a Buddhist scripture, was the first dated example of block printing.
  • May 27, 1041

    Clay Type

    Bi Sheng in China invented movable clay type
  • May 27, 1423

    Xylography

    Europeans use xylography (art of engraving on wood, block printing) to produce books.
  • May 27, 1430

    Gutenberg moves

    Gutenberg moved from his native town of Mainz to Strasburg
  • May 27, 1436

    Gutenberg begins work on his printing press.

    Gutenberg begins work on his printing press.
  • May 27, 1437

    Gutenberg sued

    Gutenberg was sued for "breach of promise of marriage" by a young lady of Strasburg
  • May 27, 1440

    Completed the wodden press movable type

    Gutenberg completed his wooden press which used movable metal type.
  • May 27, 1440

    Lauren Janzon koster

    Laurens Janszoon Koster (Coster) is credited, by some, with inventing movable metal type
  • May 27, 1444

    returns to Mainz

    Gutenberg returns to Mainz and sets up a printing shop
  • May 27, 1446

    Poem of the Last Judgment

    Gutenberg prints the "Poem of the Last Judgment"
  • May 27, 1448

    Calendar for 1448

    Gutenberg prints the "Calendar for 1448"
  • May 27, 1450

    partnership with Johann Fust

    Gutenberg' formed a partnership with the wealthy Johann Fust
  • May 27, 1450

    bible

    Gutenberg begins work on a Bible, the first is 40 lines per page.
  • May 27, 1452

    bible 2

    Gutenberg begins printing the 42-line Bible in two volumes.
  • May 27, 1454

    Gutenberg prints indulgences

    Gutenberg prints indulgences (notes sold to Christians by the Pope, pardoning their sins)
  • May 27, 1455

    Biblia Pauperum

    First block-printed Bible, the Biblia Pauperum, published in Germany.
  • May 27, 1455

    completed work

    Gutenberg completed work on what is estimated to be 200 copies of the Bible
  • May 27, 1455

    Gutenberg Bankrupt

    Gutenberg was effectively bankrupt. Investor Johann Faust gains control of print business
  • May 27, 1457

    First color printer

    First known color printing, a Psalter (a collection of Psalms for devotional use) by Faust.
  • May 27, 1460

    Gutenberg reestablished himself in the printing business with the aid of Conrad Humery

    Gutenberg reestablished himself in the printing business with the aid of Conrad Humery
  • May 27, 1461

    first illustrated book

    Albrecht Pfister printed the first illustrated book Edelstein which featured a number of woodcuts.
  • May 27, 1465

    Gutenberg is appointed

    Gutenberg is appointed to the court of Archbishop Adolf of Nassau
  • May 27, 1476

    Two hundred woodcuts were used in a edition of Aesop's Fables

    Two hundred woodcuts were used in a edition of Aesop's Fables
  • May 27, 1476

    First use of copper engravings

    First use of copper engravings instead of woodcuts for illustration
  • May 27, 1476

    William Caxton

    William Caxton sets up his printing press in Westminster, England.
  • May 27, 1499

    Printing had become established in more than 2500 cities around Europe.

    Printing had become established in more than 2500 cities around Europe.
  • May 27, 1499

    An estimated 15 million books have been press printed

    An estimated 15 million books have been press printed, representing thirty thousand book titles
    CAPs: Johannes Gutenberg, Johann Gutenberg, Bi Sheng, Laurens Janszoon Koster, Johann Faust, Peter Schoffer, Albrecht Pfister, Conrad Humery, Archbishop Adolf of Nassau, William Caxton, Gutenberg Bible, 42-line Bible, Mazarin Bible, Diamond Sutra, Poem of the Last Judgment, Calendar for 1448, Psalter, Aesop's Fables,
    SIPs: printing press, movable type, xylography, metal type, indulgences, typography,