Interactive Storymap – The History of Print Technology

Today, we got a nice story map that shows the history of print technology chronologically. The story map starts in 618-906 (A.D.) in China where the Chinese people used to print on carved wooden blocks. This era marks the first occurence of printed images.

The story of the history of print technology continues in Europe during the medieval time in Germany, France and the Netherlands. Other important steps in this history map take place in the United Kingdom and the United States of America during that time in history.

Find the interactive storymap here and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

The earliest known printed book comes from the end of the T’ang dynasty. It is titled The Diamond Sutra, and depicts an enthroned Buddha surrounded by holy attendants.
France’s first paper mill was established in La Pielle by monks who began producing paper for holy texts.

Ulman Stromer built the very first paper production in Nuremberg, Germany, which soon replaced the extremely complex and costly production of parchment paper. His workers had to swear an oath not to reveal the secrets of paper production.

Johannes Gutenberg invented a printing press process that, with refinedments and increased mechanization, remained the principal means of printing until the late 20th century.

His method of printing from movable type, including the use of metal molds alloys, a special press, and oil-based inks, allowed for the first time the mass production of printed books. Gutenberg lived and died in Mainz, Germany.

The first weekly newspaper was published in the city of Antwerp in the Netherlands. The paper was called Relation.

The Relation is recognized by the World Association of Newspapers, as well as many authors, as the world’s first newspaper.

By the 1620s, a variety of newspapers were circulating in Central Europe, and in the  second half of the 17th century newspapers were the most widely read secular material.

William Ged, a Scottish goldsmith, successfully made plates reproducing pages of type. With it, the stereotyping was invented in 1725 in Scotland. William Ged got around the slow process of setting type for duplicate plates. The earliest known specimen of stereotype printed from his process is a Form of Prayer for June, 1728.

In 1844, the cylinder press was invented in the area of New York, USA. Richard Hoe began working in a factory producing printing presses in New York City with his father in 1827. He went on to invent the first rotary press that could print up to 8,000 copies per hour. Larger rotary presses, containing multiple machines, made printing large newspaper runs possible.

In 1969, Laser printing was invented. At Xerox’s research facility in Webster, New York, Gary Starkweather first demonstrated the laser printing technique using a laser beam with the xerography process to create a  laser print.

In 1979, IBM introduced the IBM 3800 laser printer, capable of printing 20,000 lines per minute.

In 1984, 3D printing was invented. When Chuck Null patented the invention in 1986m he set up 3D Systems in California, to make money from the new method. The first commercial product came out in 1988 and proved a hit among car manufacturers, in the aerospace sector and for companies designing medical equipment.

When Hull originally came up with his invention, he told his wife that it would take between 25 and 30 years before the technology would find its way into the home. That prediction proved correct as the realistic prospect of widespread comemrcial 3D printers has only emerged in recent years.

Benny Landa invented digital printing at IPEX in Beirut, Lebanon in 1993. Bypassing the printing plate setup process, the new digital process eliminated numerous costly and time-consuming steps associated with offset printing.

It enabled printing from a computer file directly onto paper and launched short-run, on-demand, and variable data printing into the marketplace, which is still widely used today.

Reading suggestion: Mobile Evolution: The Basic Science of Cell Phones

This storymap was created in cooperation with colourfast.com.

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2 Responses to “Interactive Storymap – The History of Print Technology”

  1. Kenton

    Nov 18. 2015

    Wow, that’s what I was searching for, what a material!

    present here at this blog, thanks admin of this site.

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
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  2. Pho

    Nov 23. 2015

    printing technology is increasingly developed, thank Johannes Gutenberg

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
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