Printing Press


“Anyone who wishes to know what an early printing-house was like should begin with the Orthotypographia of Jerome Horn-schuch. The engraving by Moses Thym that precedes Horn-schuch’s text shows a printer’s staff hard at work. In one small room a compositor sets type, a corrector reads copy, a warehouseman sorts paper, a printer and an inker work a handpress, and a workman lifts wet sheets to dry on a ceiling-level rack. In the background, a girl comes through the door, clutching a jug of beer, the pressman’s traditional perquisite; in a corner, an author speaks excitedly to an unidentified companion. In the foreground, dominating the scene, stands the master-printer—a majestic, Prospero-like figure, who seems to be counting on his fingers.” (Grafton, p. 265)

Read the next section “How did the Printing Press increase Mass Communication?


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