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Popular Article: Printing press

Printing press from 1811
A printing press is a mechanical device to print many copies of text on a medium such as paper or cloth. The machine applies pressure to an inked surface resting on the medium, thereby transferring an image. Invention of the printing press has generally been credited to Johannes Gutenberg, a German goldsmith.

Both woodblock printing and movable type printing technologies had been developed in ancient China and Korea a few hundred years earlier, but their presses differed from that used by Gutenberg and their impact was limited. Printing methods based on Gutenberg's printing press spread rapidly first across Europe and then the rest of the world. Books became widely available and affordable, leading to a dramatic rise in the adult literacy rate throughout Europe. In addition, scientists and scholars were able to publish their discoveries and ideas and communicate with one another through scholarly journals. This development contributed to the coming of the scientific revolution.