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The Most Important Invention After the Wheel

Started by Mechanic, May 08, 2021, 11:14:16 PM

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Printle: A Printing Word Game from Metal Type


A little reminder of the History of Metal Type

In 1440 Johannes Gutenberg, came up with the idea of making individual type character out of metal and assembling them together to form words. He inked the type then placed a sheet of paper on the inked type and it is believed he used a wine press to transfer the type image to the paper. This procedure became known as letterpress.
Handset letterpress became the most common method of producing printed matter up until the end of the nineteenth century.
Letterpress machines evolved and were improved on and could print a large number of copies per hour, but the type was still being set by hand, one character at a time. Daily newspapers had to employ a large number of workers to set the type to be printed and then redistribute the type back to cases where it was stored.
A number of machines were invented to set the type, but a large quantity of single type character were required to set a single newspaper page.
At the end of the nineteenth century, Ottmar Mergenthaler, a German immigrant to the United States, invented a machine called a Linotype.
The Linotype didn't set type but cast lines of type from individual character molds which could be circulated through the machine and could be used over and over again.
Thomas Edison, the inventor of the electric light bulb and one of the inventors of the phonograph, Called it, "The eighth wonder of the world."
The Linotype became the most common machine for setting type for newspapers up until the nineteen eighties, when computers became the popular method of setting type images that could be used in a printing method called "Offset."
George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast

John Cornelisse

Johannus Gutenberg was educated as a gold-smith, he had learned to produce punches. Those were also used to decorate iron protection of war-lords.

Those punches could also be used to punch in to sand. When the line in the sand is completed, the line could be cast.

The Haarlem printshop Enschedé & Suns has once tried to do this with a text, and with certain succes.

The accents above accented characters in the Gutenberg Bible, those accents are not always at the same place. None of the original Gutenberg type has survived. In this way it cannot be proven that Gutenberg used only single type all the time.

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Printers' Tales - Over 30 stories from the pre-digital age. Buy now on Amazon/Apple Books

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