FC: Johann Gutenberg By: Natalie Railey
1: This is a fictional story about the life of Johann Gutenberg. In this book you will learn about how Gutenberg invented the printing press, and about some of the obstacles he had to face along the way.
2: Henne Gansfleisch zur Laden, a senior at a high school in Mainz, Germany who was called Johann, was walking to school one day when suddenly he stopped. He thought, “What if I could invent something that people would use for years to come?” He was always the kind of kid that liked to make things and put stuff together. The discussion at school that day was about how books were created. | The teacher challenged the students to write an essay on how they think that they could improve the process of making books. At the time, the process to make a book was, the author would write it, and someone else would have to copy the entire story into an actual book. It took around 5 to 10 months for them to get the whole book finished and available to the public. Even after the book was available, it cost an enormous amount of money. After school that day Johann went home and thought about what he could write in his essay. He began to write, ideas were popping in his head one after another. Once he finally finished he ate dinner and went to bed.
3: At school the next day, his teacher told the class that they would have to read the essays aloud. All of his classmates went up and read their essays to the rest of their classmates. He listened to all his friends reading their essays, Conrad Humery, Johann Faust, Andreas Dritzehn, Hanns Riffe, and Andreas Heilman. Johann was the last to read, he began reading and his teacher was amazed at what Johann had written. All of his ideas were reasonable and very smart. Once Johann was finished reading his essay the teacher called him up to her desk. She told him to see her after class about his essay. After class Johann went to see her, and she told him what she thought about his essay. She said that he should really think about using his essay to help him make something like what he described in his story. He basically blew her off, he thought that it would be stupid and pointless to try to do that because he wouldn’t
4: . | ever be able to achieve a task that difficult. He put the essay away in his room. The school year went by and Johann didn’t even think about the paper he had written that he still had sitting in his bedroom. Johann went on to graduate high school. He went to college and trained to be a goldsmith. Once he was at home on a break from school, and he found his essay that he wrote back in high school about a new and advanced way to print books. He thought about it for a moment and decided that he would finally take his old teachers advice. He started planning how he was going to build this machine and what he would need to make it. After he planned out everything he would need, he went and bought all of the supplies. Johann decided to call the machine a printer, since it would be printing books. The printer was already underway that night.
6: Since Johann was Catholic, he had to go to church every week, which meant that he didn’t have as much time as he wanted to work on the printer. He finished it in a matter of 1 month. The printer included the use of metal molds and alloys, a special press, and oil based inks.The printer worked marvelously! It printed book like Johann had never seen before, it was so fast. He wasn’t hesitant at all to show his new invention to the public. It wasn’t too long before people were asking him to print books for them. Johann’s printing system changed things greatly. The printer allowed for the first mass production of printed books, it allowed people to get books easily, and it made the books less expensive. It was these reasons that made more people want to read and they became more literate. During this time, there
7: was a great emphasis on literature and learning so Johann’s printer was used a lot. The first book that Johann printed was the Latin Bible. Since Johann did not make very much money from his invention, he went bankrupt and his friend from high school, Johann Faust, gained control of the printing business. Not long after he got back into the business. He became famous for this invention, and even though he died in 1467, we are still thankful for his intelligence and that he took the time to create something so useful.
8: Other interesting facts about Johann Gutenberg: - Johann Gutenberg was born in 1400. - Johann printed different kinds of documents with his invention, such as “Poem of the Last Judgement” and “Calendar for 1448”. - Legal documents indicate that Johann probably began printing the Bible around 1450.