The Renaissance was undoubtedly one of the most influential periods in world history. Despite the fact that it was a period that is primarily associated with European Nations, the inventions, discoveries and innovations from the time paved the way for the centuries to come in the fields of science, technology, art, literature and several others. Emerging from the “Dark Era”, a period wrought with disease outbreaks, epidemics, poor standards of living and economic deterioration in Europe, there was a radical change in the mindset of citizens as the continent awoke to a “rebirth” of sorts.
While there were a number of changes and causes that fuelled the Renaissance and that have been considered triggers for this period, one of the inventions that we undoubtedly fail to give enough importance to is the printing press, invented by the German goldsmith, Johannes Gutenberg of Mainz. His first idea of a printing press used metal letters which were inked and then pressed onto books.
At the time, it was considered a massively important invention as previously all education and information was controlled by predominant authority in the region, The Roman Catholic Church, as the religion of Christianity was propagated among the masses and certain ideologies were advocated for. However, this invention brought with it a number of changes. For the first time, books and knowledge was being disseminated among the masses at cheaper prices, due to the profound ease in the process of printing as compared to hand-written books. Books were no longer a facility solely available to the creme de la creme of European society. With this simple invention, education could no longer be restricted within the four walls of the Roman Catholic Church. The spread of information among the masses had never been faster. Within 50 years of the invention, more than 7 million books had been published by printers all over Europe, making the printing press undoubtedly one of the most important inventions of the time.