Steam-Age Tech


a Traveling Technology Workshop

Presentations, Publications and Videos

Early Printing Press



Moveable Type and

The Beginnings of Mass Communication

The invention of the moveable type printing press has arguably had one of the most profound impacts on the human world of any invention, rivaling even the wheel itself. The ability to quickly share ideas around the world on a large scale changed not only the pace of invention, the development of scientific methods, the sharing of philosophical and religious thought, but in fact it has changed our sense of ownership of ideas and thought, of our very concept of the "Individual" and even the individual's relation to The State and to God. (We do tread very lightly on that last point.)

Program Outline

[ Seminar Format Ca. 45 minutes ]
[ Workshop Format Ca. 90 minutes ]
Workshop Format has more hands-on time for the participants

Prior to Gutenberg

  • Manuscripts
    • Writing with Quill and Ink [Practical Demo]
  • Block Printing
  • Moveable Type in Asia

Contemporary Technology:

  • Block-Printing [Practical Demo]
  • Ink
  • Paper Production [Practical Demo]
  • Wine-press / Cloth-Press
  • Metal Casting

The Critical Invention:

  • 1439 Gutenberg Moveable Type
    • Casting individual characters [Practical Demo]
    • Printers Frame
    • The Press [Practical Demo]


  • Calligraphy
  • Block Printing
  • (Printing Press - Workshop only)
  • (Paper-Making - Workshop only)

The Big Names of Printing

  • 1439 Johannes Gutenberg
  • 1476 William Caxton
  • 1481 Wynkyn de Worde
  • 1730's Bejamin Franklin - Newspaper Chain
  • 1884 Hoe - Rotary "Web"
  • 1886 Mergenthaler - Linotype
  • 1887 Lanston - Monotype
  • 1940'S Higonnet & Moyroud - Lumitype (Photon)

Social Change via Mass Communication

  • The Reformation
  • The Age of Enlightenment
  • The Scientific Revolution
  • The Industrial Revolution

Page last modified on August 14, 2016, at 01:58 PM

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