By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (February 23, 2021) – In Issue 2021-35 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps, we celebrate the first “easier way” to spread the word.

Johannes Guttenbetg, inventor of first printing press. (Stock images)

Distributed Knowledge

This invention was the key driver in the subsequent development of Renaissance movement and the Scientific Revolution, among others.

Lateral thinking by this former goldsmith led to his invention that over time relieved monks from rather laborious work.  Importantly, it allowed for mass distribution of knowledge. 

The first example of the fruits of this invention is a poem on paper.  However, we are celebrating today the first of the finished work we most associate with this inventor from the year 1455.

By now you most likely know that we are talking about Johannes Gutenberg and the bible printed using movable type printing press.  This type of press significantly reduced the man hours involved in creating documents and hence it lowered cost and allowed for mass distribution of printed material.

Gutenberg was from Mainz, Germany on the banks of the Rhine River.   Here is a panoramic view of the Rhine between Mainz and Koblenz from 1919 issued for the post World War I American forces.  This portion of the river is the most picturesque with its hills, vineyards, castles, and small towns. 

The Rhine between Mainz and Koblenz from 1919 (Cresdit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.