Books were read by only a handful of people before the Middle Ages. Ancient texts dating back to Greek times were held in monasteries, where roomfuls of scribes sat laboriously copying them out by hand to keep them preserved.
So of course everyone was waiting for the printing press. It arrived in the nick of time. Gutenberg’s printing press produced the first book, a bible, in 1456. The scribes who worked in the monasteries must have been grateful!
Now finally the demand for books could be met. The printing press spread quickly throughout Europe and the books spread even more quickly. The scientists were especially happy because now their scientific ideas could be passed around and discussed more easily. But its the technologists, the craftsmen, that the scientists have to thank for this invention.
By the way, we should remember that printing presses had been developed in China earlier than 1456. But ideas spread very slowly from China in those days. Besides, when your alphabet is made up of 80,000 letters then the technology needed to print it is more complicated than was needed in Europe.
The machine used to transmit the ink from a printing plate to the printed page is called a press. The first printing presses, such as those of the 16th century and earlier, were screw-type presses designed primarily to bring pressure on the printing form, which was placed face up in a flat bed. The paper, generally dampened, was pressed against the type by the movable surface, or platen. The upperparts of the posts of the press often were braced against the ceiling, and after the form was inked the platen was screwed down against the form. The press was equipped with rails on which the form could be slid out of the press and then back onto the bed, so that the platen did not have to be raised far. Nevertheless, the operation was slow and cumbersome; such a press produced only about 250 impressions an hour, printing only one side of the paper at a single impression
The “key plate” is said to add the “detail” to a printed image. This is true in that the black plate in a four color process print pushes the contrast and creates “detail”. Many people suggest that the theory of using K instead of B because it may be easily confused with “Blue” is a myth. While it is highly speculative what the reasoning is, there are context clues as to why it may actually be ...