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 Museum Explorer

Tools and technology
in Europe

The Printer's Workshop

Height: 79.000 mm
Width: 60.000 mm

PD Book 159.D.11 (Bartsch 371)

Jost Amman, The Printer's Workshop

From: Germany
Date: AD 1568

Before printing was invented, all books had to be written by hand. The invention of the printing press in the mid 15th century meant that for the first time books could be made in their thousands.

At the right of this picture is the printing press. The man nearest the press is putting ink onto lines of metal type. Type is the name given to raised letters used in printing. Next, paper is put over the inked metal type, and pressed hard down onto the type by the press. The man on the left is taking the paper off the type and putting the paper, which now carries a printed page, onto the pile in front of him. Eventually the pages will be bound together into a book.

This picture itself was printed from a wooden block on exactly the same type of press.