Who Discovered Printing?

Printing is putting the words and images on a paper using a device. That device for printing have changed over the years. But, let’s first have a look at who discovered or invented the pronting process.

The year 3500 B.C. was the start as the Mesopotamia (it includes the north of Syria, a part of Iraq and south Turkey) developed cylinder seals starting the first way of printing.


Woodblock printing started as way to print texts and images in the beginnings of the 3rd century in China and East Asia.

By the beginning of the 4th century, the Roman Egypt started using the woodblock printing on cloth. Later in the 9th and 10th centuries, the block printing on textiles were developed by the Arabic Egypt, it changed from woodblock printing to lead block, tin block and clay block. It was mainly used for religious uses.

In the year 1040, China started a new technique in printing, as they started the movable-type printing. The movable-type printing is the system that gave flexibility to block printing, it is using movable metal pieces.

By the 12th century, Bi Sheng (990-1051)the Chinese inventor produced the copper movable blocks which was used later to print paper money.

The Korean made the first metal published book by the year 1377.

By the beginning of the 14th century, the Block printing arrived to Europe, and was used for religious printings as well.

A hundred years later, Europe was still printing the religious images but on papers as papers now were available.

By the middle of the 15th century, Johannes Gutenberg (1398-1468) the German blacksmith, and printer, produced the mass production movable type printing. He started using an alloy of lead, tin and antimony, that alloy is still used till today.

cast metal type piecesIn the year 1843, Richard March Hoe (1812-1886) the American inventor, made a breakthrough in the printing field, he invented the rotary printing press. The rotary printing press which uses cylinders to print on continuous rolls of papers.

Then William Bullock (1813-1867) the American inventor invented rotary drum printing, which was a great progress in the world of printing industry as it is more efficient and more faster than the previous ways.

The offset press was invented by Robert Barclay in the year 1875, then it was developed in the year 1903 by Ira Washington Rubel.

In the year 1953, the first printer to be used with the computer was invented  by Remington-Rand (1927-1955) the American business machines manufacturer.

What is your opinion on who discovered the principle of printing?

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