Evolution of printing is an invention comparable to creation of the alphabet or the emergence of the internet. Printing was revolutionary in its impact on educated minds and triggered a much higher rate of literacy and accessibility to books than what was possible before its emergence.
Printing was invented in Germany by the inventive genius of a goldsmith known by the name of Gutenberg. Before Gutenberg used metal alloys to form printing blocks, wooden blocks or stone blocks were used for the purpose. Printing made it possible to produce exact replicas of a text. Before this every handwritten text was unique in some way or the other from other handwritten text. Author authentication was also taken lightly. With the evolution of the printing press multiple copies could be efficiently produced. With consistency in printing process and increased reliance on mechanised versions more organised versions of books appeared, with page numbers and index. Authorship was also came to acknowledged widely and perhaps this lead to the evolution of the ‘copyright’, since now several publishers could produce copies of the same text.
Oral traditions have been a crucial part of any culture. Many rich ancient civilisations are known to have relied on purely oral tradition without dependence on the written word. Though the written word brought about aspects which were not explored before. Though art literature and even law were a part of oral tradition, accounts and commercial figures were not. Written records slowly became crucial for administration and industry.
If the written world supplemented business, industrialisation too had a huge impact on education and the way it was imparted. With evolution of printing, books became accessible to a surprisingly large number of the population. This lead to a complete cultural change. More and more people had access to books, literacy spread; people got introduced to new ideas and were no longer landlocked by narrow notions of individual beliefs. Education or exposure to literature which was largely interactive process in oral tradition, it was now at the disposal of the individual. Emergence of new ideas, widespread literacy, release from essential social aspect of the oral tradition brought about a great opportunity for a person to learn or write individually thereby resulting in greater freedom, greater accessibility. Movable type printing was invented in 1440s though the first known invention was in China around 1041-48, today you see the electronic version of a printer with an ink cartridge connected to the computer, the device with a virtual display screen!
Source by Samuel Hary