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Johannes Gutenberg died 2/3/1468.  He was born c.1398 at Mainz, German, to Freile zum Gensfleisch & his 2nd wife, Else Wirick zum Gutenberg, whose maiden name Johannes adopted.  He appears to have been  apprenticed to a goldsmith; press idea was adapted from agricultural presses.  Though moveable type is said to have been used in Asia decades before, Gutenberg with goldsmithing knowledge, created alloy(s?) revolutionizing this process. Sadly in a church leader dispute Mainz was sacked, the original press destroyed.

His first Book, the Gutenberg Bible, referred to as a “Forty-Two-Line” Bible, was completed no later than 1455.  It is said to have sold for 30 florins.  Forty some Gutenberg Bibles still exist.  His press not only made the Bible available, but presses helped reformers spread their news – for example Luther had his 95 Theses printed and circulated widely.

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Johannes Gutenberg died this date, 2/3/1468, at Mainz, Germany. Mainz is a few miles southwest of Frankfort on the Rhine River.  He is the man credited with inventing printing with movable type.  The first and most important project which used his new process was the printing of the Bible – commonly called The Gutenberg Bible. 

It is believed that only 158 Bibles were printed.  48 full copies are known to still exist along with numerous partial Bibles and/or single pages.  (One source says a single page sold in 1999 for $26,000.)  Bibles are said to be about 1282 pages in length and were, interestingly, printed on two kinds of pages: paper and vellum (calf’s skin).  Printing is thought to have begun around 1450 and concluded c. 1455. His press was a boon to the Reformation – allowing the dissemination of Reformers’ writings.

Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (his full name) is thought to have been born c. 1400 in the same town where he died.

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