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Johannes Gensfleisch Gutenberg 1400-1468
Gutenberg has been likened to the Bill Gates of his day because the impact that his invention of a moveable-type printing press had on the proliferation of knowledge can be likened to the impact that Microsoft Software is having on the widening of information frontiers.
The Chinese had already invented printing but because of the difficulty of printing their complex characters little had been done with it. By Gutenberg's time, books had to be elaborately copied by hand but he invented a printing press by combining a press adapted from papermakers with the use of individual letters cast in metal composed in blocks of type.
The effect on the spread of knowledge was staggering. In 1456 there were fewer than 60 copies made of the Gutenberg bible, Europe's first printed book. By the year 1500, 35,000 different editions of books, resulting in 15 million copies, had been printed. This put Europe at a tremendous advantage over the rest of the world where printing had not taken root. For example during the 15th century over 1000 new printing centres were established in western Europe yet east of Europe, in the whole of the Ottoman Empire and Africa combined there was only one printing centre.
Sadly Gutenberg was unable to profit from his invention as
his business partner took over the running of the business
when he reclaimed his advance he had invested.
(Source - Buzan's Book of Genius by Tony Buzan and Raymond Keene)
To ask about any aspect of Accelerated Learning, e-mail himself (at) michaeltipper.com . Due to Michael's hectic schedule, he may not be able to write back, but will do his best to cover the main issues raised, in future articles [more about Michael on the page here].
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