The History of Books

Timeline created by 590364
  • 100

    Symbols Engraved Onto Tablets

    Symbols Engraved Onto Tablets
    about
    3500 BC
    The first ever symbols put on a moveable object were from a group of southern Mesopotamian people called the Sumarians. They had a "cuneiform" alphabet, and they wrote the symbols on clay tablets with a stylus called a "Calamus". The Sumarians had the earliest known alphabet in the world.
  • 120

    Earliest Surviving Papyrus Scrolls

    Earliest Surviving Papyrus Scrolls
    2400 B.C.
    Scrolls, made of the thick paper material Papyrus, that contained written words date all the way back to 2400 BC, from Egypt. Some historians believe that papyrus could have been invented as early as 3100 B.C. Egyptains used papyrus before the Greeks or Romans adopted the use of it. they stored their books rolled up into wooden tubes, and glued together lots of scrolls to make very long pages.
  • 125

    The Invention of Parchment

    The Invention of Parchment
    fourth
    500-200 B.C.
    As opposed to the plant-based papyrus, people began writing on parchment made from thinned out animal skins. The word "parhment" comes from the name of the Greek town that perfected it, Pergamon. After the over-farming of papyrus reeds, parchment became the main writing material.
  • 145

    Wax Tablets

    Wax Tablets
    200 BC
    Invented by the Romans, these blocks of wood had wax on the inside of them that one could make an impression on using a stylus, and this innovation of a book allowed for words to be erased and re-written. These were sometimes bound together with string or cordto keep "pages" together like an early version of the ringed binder.
  • 180

    Paper

    Paper
    105 AD
    It is widely believed that a Chinese eunuch called Cai Lun invented the process of paper making. It involves mixing together fibers in water, forming a suspension, and then allowing this suspension to dry in a screen so it has a flat shape and is easy to write on. Every piece of paper was a standard size, and called a leaf.
  • 200

    Library of Alexandria Is Created

    Library of Alexandria Is Created
    about
    295 AD
    the Library of Alexandria is made, containing ancient scrolls and books.
  • 220

    Illustrations Added To Books

    Illustrations Added To Books
    400-600 A.D.
    Early illustrations were still made on parchment as opposed to the more modern paper due to the better quality and strength of parchment. These books were handwritten and decorated with bright colors, intricate designs, and even silver and gold.
  • 300

    The Very First Printed Book

    The Very First Printed Book
    868 AD
    printed on paper in China using woodblocks with characters on it. The woodblock was used much like a stamp, covered with ink and pressed into the paper. The woodblock(s) were carefully and tediously prepared using knives, to carve out around each letter.
  • 320

    Moveable Type- The Improvement of Woodblocks

    Moveable Type- The Improvement of Woodblocks
    1041-1230 AD
    A system of printing literature that involved rearranging small blocks with a letter on each one to form sentences, and paprapraghs, and books. This process was an improvement on the woodblock because each small letter could be rearranged and re-used, as opposed to recarving an entire block of wood for each page.
  • 375

    Moveable Type Goes Worldwide

    Moveable Type Goes Worldwide
    1250-1450 AD
    The system of using moveable, individual letters catches on and starts being used by other countries such as Egypt and Europe, however eacgh country put their own twist on the idea. In Egypt, it was mainly used for religious texts which would be rolled into tubes and worn around the neck, and in Europe they started to make the blocks out of metal instead of wood so they would be more durable with clearer shapes, and they also invented the printing press.
  • 377

    The Guttenberg Bible

    The Guttenberg Bible
    1455 AD
    A man called Johnannes Gutenberg had invented the printing press, and with this technology it became possible to print long books for much cheaper than before. 180 total copis of the Bible were printed, and some were even illustrated.
  • 390

    Printing Revolution

    Printing Revolution
    1455-1500 AD
    The printing press led to many new improvements in the world of literature, including the production of 20 million books, the very first Newspaper, and 'bestsellers'. Italic type was invented, and books were starting to be printed smaller and more portable.
  • 410

    Print Is Brought To North America

    1639-1640 AD
    The first book to be printed in America was made with a printing press brought over by Puritans. It was called the 'Bay Psalm', and was essentially a book of the psalms form the Hebrew Bible.
  • 430

    Chlorine Is Discovered

    Chlorine Is Discovered
    1744 AD
    A Swedish chemist by the name of Carl WIlhelm Sheele. Chlroine is relevant to the improvement of books because chlorine is used to bleach the pages so that they have a cleaner look and they are easier to read.
  • 500

    Book Covers

    Book Covers
    1832 AD
    The very first books to be made with removable paper jackets, or sleeves, appear.
  • 510

    The Cheap Novel

    The Cheap Novel
    1832-1860 AD
    The first mass-market paperback books are made in response to the growth of education and knowledge in the world. They were printed on cheap paper and were usually rewrites of novels or stories in the Crime genre. In America, they became known as Dime Novels.
  • 560

    The Paperback

    The Paperback
    1920-1938 AD
    When they were first made, paperback novels were considered trashy and lower quality than hardback novels and people thought they would never appeal to the public. However, one publisher called Emanuel Haldemann-Julius had large success with selling paperback newpaper advertisements through mail order, and then companies began offering up susbriptions to recieve paperback literature in the mail for 5$ a month.
  • 565

    The Modern Paperback Novel

    The Modern Paperback Novel
    about
    1935 AD
    The Penguin publishing comapny published ten books for sale in stores in paperback form.
  • Sep 26, 630

    The Microprocessor Digitalizes Literature

    1971 AD
    The invention of the microprocessor led to the creation of computers, which made books' availability skyrocket and it also made books easier to make better through typing them and editing and re-editing them.
  • Sep 26, 660

    Books Sold Through The Internet

    Books Sold Through The Internet
    1995
    When the internet was made public not only did it connect the world, it made for a new way to sell and exchange goods and services. The sale of books online was revolutionary, and made books published in other countries more widely available. The very first book sold on Amazon.com was called "Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought".
  • Sep 26, 700

    The Kindle

    The Kindle
    2007 AD
    The invention of the kndle offered ways to store thousands of books digitally and gave you the ability to have many many books with you at one time without the weight.