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Started by Mechanic, April 16, 2015, 01:22:38 AM

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Printle: A Printing Word Game from Metal Type


Postcard from China issued in 2000. Four Great Inventions - Movable type is pictured alongside paper


Issued on 20 December 1999 in a series'Important Chinese inventions'     Moveble Type           (Haiti)


Issued in 2011 to celebrate 400 years of the King James Bible   £2 coin                          (UK)

Lead type and printed page
KING JAMES BIBLE        In the beginning was the Word        1611-2011


The invention of movable type is regarded as a technological revolution that contributed to the civilization of humanity. It was invented during Korea's thirteenth century Goryeo dynasty.
Pictures from Early Printing Museum in Cheongju.

A display of moveable type in the Early Printing Museum in Cheongju. This small museum tells you everything about the Jikji, the oldest book in the world printed with movable metal type. 

Display of the printing of the Jikji, a Korean Buddhist document, in the Early Printing Museum in Cheongju. It was printed during the Goryeo Dynasty in 1377, the world's oldest extant book printed with movable metal type.

Display of the making of the brass letters during the Goryeo Dynasty in the 14th century in the Early Printing Museum in Cheongju; this was one of the first places that printing with with movable metal type was done.


The Phaestos Disc.
Made from fired clay, the disc is approximately 15cm in diameter and a centimeter thick with symbols imprinted on both sides.

Taken from the website 'TYPEROOM' an online platform for the Typophile Generation.
Phaestos was an ancient city on the island of Crete. It was inhabited from about 4000 BC. The area upon which Phaestos stood was the site where a curious clay disk, containing a sophisticated pictographic writing, was discovered. It was the Phaestos Disk, an archaeological finding, dating back to about 1700 BC. The first moveable type! Its purpose and meaning, and even its original geographical place of manufacture, remain disputed, making it one of the most famous mysteries of archaeology. An Italian archaeologist Luigi Pernier discovered this remarkably intact "dish" (about 15 cm in diameter and uniformly just over 1 cm thick) in the basement of the Minoan palace site of Phaestos during an excavation on July 3, 1908.

Physical Description
The inscription was made by pressing pre-formed hieroglyphic "seals" into the soft clay, in a clockwise sequence spiralling towards the disk's center. It was then baked at high temperature. There are a total of 241 figures on the disc.

Information from another website
While the disc itself appears to be handmade, archaeologists believe that the symbols themselves may have been stamped into the clay, not individually carved. This is very significant because the existence of stamps implies that the Minoans made more than one disc. In fact, it implies that they intended to write things down fairly frequently. This is an exciting idea, but also puzzling since we've never found any stamps in Minoan archaeological sites or any other examples of these symbols.


Movable Type Rubik's Cube

Typophile Shaun Chung created this Rubik's cube stamp featuring Chinese characters that combine to form verses from a traditional children's poem. He laser-etched the characters from wood and affixed them to the cube. Shaun writes:

Chinese has a long history with the printing. In 105 AD, Cai Lun invented the paper. In 200 AD, the Chinese invention of Woodblock printing produced the world's first print culture. In 1040, Bi Sheng invented the first known movable type technology. Therefore, I want to use a Chinese text for my cube. The text I used for my cube is called "Three Character Classic." It is a traditional Chinese text that teaches young children to be a good person in the society. The text is written in triplets of characters for easy memorization, which is perfect for the cube since the cube is 3 by 3 on every side. The text is written by Wang Yinglin during the Song Dynasty, so I used a font called "Song," which is correspond to the Song Dynasty when a distinctive printed style of regular script was developed.


According to historical records from the ancient book MengXiBiTan, Chinese movable type originated in the Qingli period (1041–1048 CE), during the Song Dynasty, with clay movable type characters invented by Bi Sheng.

It should be noted that this was around 400 years before the introduction of movable type in Europe by Gutenberg. Later, with the progress of technology, movable type characters made of wood, tin, lead, copper, and further derivatives appeared.

Picture shows the Uighur wood movable type examples which were found in cave sediments of the northern Dunhuang area of China in 1908: these were the earliest surviving examples of wood movable type in the world.


Bi Sheng also has a crater of the moon named after him!

Bi Sheng is a lunar crater located on the lunar far side in the LAC-7 quadrant near the northern pole. The crater is located in close proximity to the prominent craters Seares, Karpinskiy, and Milankovic. The crater was adopted and named after Chinese inventor Bi Sheng by the IAU in August, 2010.


A technician carves wooden movable type at the museum of wooden movable-type printing in Dongyuan Village, Pingkeng Town, Ruian City,  in East China's Zhejiang Province. The UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage announced that wooden movable-type printing and two other elements practised in China were inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. As one of the world's oldest printing techniques, wooden movable-type printing invented by Bi Sheng from 1041 to 1048 A.D. is still maintained in Rui'an County, Zhejiang Province.



Movable type featured in the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, celebrating one of the four Great Inventions of China.


Typographie - Composition
Partially gilded hard porcelain plate. Diameter: 23.6cm.

Jean-Charles Develly (1783-1849) executed for porcelain from the Sèvres factory.

Dated between 1823 and 1835, this image represents the interior of a printer-typographer's workshop, where the different phases of the printing work can be distinguished: a large number of workers busy themselves with tasks well specific, such as the creation of a composition page from the assembly of typefaces arranged in a case, the insertion of the pages thus obtained in a form arranged in a frame, placing sheets of white paper on the tympanum of a Stanhope press, printing the form, drying the printed pages, then assembling them.


Laurens Janszoon Coster and movable type.
Laurens Janszoon Coster was a Dutch rival of Johannes Gutenberg as the alleged inventor of printing.

Sometime in the 1420s, Coster was in the Haarlemmerhout carving letters from bark for the amusement of his grandchildren, and observed that the letters left impressions on the sand. He proceeded to invent a new type of ink that did not run, and he began a printing company based on his invention with a primitive typesetting arrangement using moveable type.  Using wooden letters at first, he later used lead and tin movable type.

Coster is said to have printed with movable type as early as 1430, but definite proof of this claim is lacking. Coster, however, is a far more shadowy figure than Gutenberg, and his printing achievement was not recorded until a century after his death. His method of typecasting, consisting of casting in sand from wooden molds, was distinctly more primitive than that of Gutenberg.

Statue of Laurens Janszoon Coster on the Grote Markt in Haarlem, where he was born. He holds the letter "A" up high.


This young Laurens stands in front of the Stedelijk Gymnasium. In addition to the  printing letter A in one hand, he has an open booklet in the other hand.

On the plinth is the text: Ae. MS Laurentio Costero, Harlemensi., Viro Consulari, Typographiae, Inventori Vero, Monumentum hoc, Erigi curavit, Collegium medicum, Anno mdccxxii: Founded  in honor of Laurens Coster of Haarlem, a worthy man, inventor of the printing press, by the Collegium Medicum, 1722


1740 - Medal 'Derde eeuwfeest van de uitvinding van de Boekdrukkunst door L.J. Coster te Haarlem' ('Third centenary of the invention of the Printing Press by L.J. Coster in Haarlem') by N. van Swinderen. - Obv. Bust left / Rev. City Maiden holding ribbon with magistrates coats of arms.

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