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Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado

- World History -
The Most Important Invention
of the Renaissance


The Printing Press

The printing press was invented by Johann Gutenburg, a German, in the 1450s. The printing press allowed the Renaissance to spread because it made new ideas available to a much larger audience. More books were written in the vernacular, rather than in Latin.

Johann Gutenberg, printing press
Johann Gutenberg inspects a printed sheet that has just come off his new press.
Click the illustration for an enlargement.

Johann Gutenberg (1395 - 1468)
Johann Gutenberg was a German goldsmith. In his day, people slowly copied books by hand or printed them from wooden blocks where each letter of every page had to be carved separately. Gutenberg learned to make metal letters that he called "type." He could pick up the letters and place them in rows to build pages. Each page was held together by a frame. Gutenberg fixed the frame to a press and pressed the inky surface of his type onto sheets of paper. Gutenberg's movable type helped him to make copies of books faster and more cheaply than ever before. Despite the importance of his achievenent, he never made much money from it.

Gutenberg Bible
One of Gutenberg's first books was a Bible, printed in Latin in 1455.


1. What Was the Renaissance?

2. Personalities of the Italian Renaissance

3. Renaissance Art

4. The Protestant Reformation

5. Calvinism, Anglicanism, and King Henry VIII

6. Renaissance and Reformation Quotes

7. Most Important Invention of the Renaissance

Related Information
The Life, Art, Anatomical Studies, and
Inventions of Leonardo da Vinci

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Historical Periods of
World History Class Study

| Prehistory | Mesopotamia & Phoenicians |
| Ancient Egypt | Greece | Rome |
| Medieval History | The Renaissance |
| Exploration | National Monarchies |
| The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment |
| Colonial America and American Revolution |
| The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era
|

 

   
 

Highlands Ranch High School 9375 South Cresthill Lane Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80126 303-471-7000

Mr. Sedivy's History Classes
| Colorado History | American Government | Modern European History | Advanced Placement European History | Rise of England | World History |
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