How A Gutenberg Printing Press Actually Works

How A Gutenberg Printing Press Actually Works

Video: Everyone who was born without a smartphone in their crib knows how a printing press works… in theory. You line up the type, ink up the slate, slap a piece of paper on and then press down to print. Easy money. But the beauty of these historically important devices is in the details.

It’s in the rolling of the ink onto the goose skin-covered bag stamp. It’s in the repeated beating of the oil-based ink (so it would stick to metal) onto the letters. It’s in the aligning of the pin to the paper so the pages would match up. It’s in the pulling of the press.

It’s nice to see the steps all happen one after the other (even if we already know how it works) because just seeing the amount of work it takes to get a Gutenberg printing press to print a single page makes me appreciate everything we have today just a little bit more.

[Sabrina Huyett]

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