Gutenberg’s 42-line Bible, Germany


1. The Beginning of German Printing History
The beginnings of the art of printing can be found in Germany, East Asia, Babylon and Rome. The first and oldest printed books were constructed by using the so called ?lockdruckverfahren? where the single sites needed to be cut into a printing plate and then were deducted. But this was not the book-form, we know today. The art of printing with all his economical, cultural and historical effects developed in the way we know them today as cultural minting Information and Communication Technology in Europe. With the discovery by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century, the art of printing spread out in whole Europe within a few years and after the centuries around the whole earth.

2. About Johannes Gutenberg
Johannes Gensfleisch, named Gutenberg (born in 1400 in Mainz or Eltville ; died 1468 in Mainz) is known for his discovery of the art of printing with movable metal-types in Europe and of the mechanical printing. By the using of movable types, he set new revolutionary yardsticks for printing books and initiated a revolution in Europe. His work is considered as key item of the Renaissance, specially his main work the Gutenberg Bible is know for the high aesthetic and technical quality.

2.1 Gutenberg’s Invention
It was already printed before Gutenberg by wooden pressure. On this occasion, paper was laid on the worked on and with color provided wooden floor and rubbed off a costly and protracted procedure. Basic idea of the invention of Gutenberg was the decomposition of the text in all single elements like small letters and capital letters, punctuation marks, ligatures and abbreviations as they were generally usual from the tradition of the medieval authors. These single elements were poured as side-wrong characters in any number, were joined, in the end, to words, lines and sides. Prototype for every letter was the stamp. In the front end of a steel pencil the sign was cut, so that a side-wrong exact relief arose. Now the perspective stamp, the Patrize, in a rectangular block of a hammer from softer metal, as a rule probably copper, i.e vertically with the blow of a hammer was eaten off?

So, generated matrix had to be reworked and be straightened, so that a right- angled cube with straight sides originated. The side-right picture should have a uniform depth, which is why the surface with a file was worked on. To manage the downpour of character, Gutenberg developed the hand pouring instrument which of an end was closed by using the matrix. After the downpour of the characters in the hand pouring instrument the other end had to be removed. Every character had a hyphenation point, so that all characters automatically received the same height. The hand pouring instrument, the most significant part of the invention, enabled to pour the amounts required in each case in the most different characters in the quick change. The crude metal was an alloy from lead, tin and other admixtures, quick cooling off and a sufficient durability under the high pressure of the press guaranteed. The printer press which caused towards till then known compression a huge acceleration of the printing process was a spindle press with special equipment for the actual and steady transference of the printing format of the form of the paper or also the parchment.

2.2 The Gutenberg Bible
The Gutenberg-Bible, also known as ‘42’ or ‘B42’(because of the 42 lines) was made in the years from 1452 until 1454 in Mainz. As a coronation of Gutenberg’s pressure art Bible is to be looked the 42 lines. The 2-volume work with a total of 1282 sides originated in the blossom of his creating, with the help of about 20 employees. Gutenberg has poured 290 different figures for this Bible. The colored initials and signs were inserted later by an Illuminator and a Rubrikator. 150 were printed by 180 copies presumably on paper and the remaining 30 on precious parchment. Today, there exist another 48 copies from what 2 are in the possession of the Gutenberg museum in Mainz, Germany. With this bible which belongs till this day to the nicest printed books of the world, Gutenberg has proved, the fact that ?ova forma scribendi?to the manuscripts which had at the time their rising was equivalent aesthetically. The development of the black art brought a layout in the written world. The spreading of knowledge promoted the economic progress and became a landmark in the direction of modern times.

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