Wednesday, August 24, 2016

GUTENBERG | Aug. 24–Bible First Published

Copy of Gutenberg Bible in NY Public Library
This day in 1456 the first edition of the Gutenberg Bible was bound and completed in Mainz, Germany, the first complete book printed with movable type, 180 copies. 

Books had been printed on presses before, but Gutenberg used metal type and made a press that could print many versions of the same text quickly.

His contributions to printing were:
  • oil-based printing ink, 
  • reusable metal type,
  • a functioning printing press,
  • a rapid system for assembling the type into a full book and then folding the pages into folios, which were then bound into an entire volume.

The buying, selling and ownership of Gutenberg Bibles is a topic of its own:
  • The General Theological Seminary in Manhattan sold a Gutenberg Bible to make ends meet.
  • Will Woodin owned a Gutenberg Bible and there are questions about what happened to it after he died.