Talk:Printing press

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How to[edit]

The point of this section was that it providedi nformation about what actually happens in the use of a press. Though the wording may appear non-encylcopedic. I think it needs to be considered for restoration, because I think the basic material may not be clear without it. DGG (talk) 00:19, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Good point; maybe turning it into a diagram or making the list more concise would work better? —Parhamr 00:36, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Potential book sources
Potential video sources
Potential image sources

I will try to get the above books. —Parhamr 09:25, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Corrections[edit]

  • The device was also used from very early on in urban contexts as a cloth press for printing patterns, and for printings engravings on paper. Not that I dispute this, but a reference couldn't hurt.
  • In this situation, the decentralised state of the medieval landscape allowed a certain freedom to pursue individual solutions beyond the restrictions imposed by political and religious authorities. Restored as this is one of the key hypotheses of the authors quoted.
  • since the late 14th century and which worked on the same mechanical principles. There is nothing to clarify, paper presses worked by the same screw principle as printing presses
  • as well as its use in China from the 11th century (using ceramic or wood blocks) and Korea (using bronze) This is still off-topic here as there is no known connection between Far Eastern and Western printing. The thrust of this passage is obviously that the idea of movable type had been in the air in medieval Europe for centuries, perhaps as early as antiquity (cf. Medieval letter tile, Pruefening dedicatory inscription and Roman lead pipe inscription. There is no more reason to refer to Far Eastern typography here than in an article on the history of Chinese characters to prior, but unrelated Sumerian writing. Post hoc is not propter hoc.
  • compared to forty by hand-printing. Obviously, we are talking here about typography, printing presses were not used for woodblock printing to any extent

Gun Powder Ma (talk) 00:06, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

What does the reference actually say for "In this situation, the decentralised state of the medieval landscape allowed a certain freedom to pursue individual solutions beyond the restrictions imposed by political and religious authorities"? As it stands it makes very little sense. "Religious authorities" were notoriously more centralized in late medieval Europe than at almost any other time or place in history, and the growing, if not very co-ordinated, Habsburg state, was reaching its zenith. But neither took any great interest in imposing "restrictions" on industrial processes, which were however often very tightly contolled by local guild regulations. I will remove it again - if you want to re-add it in a clearer form, please put a draft here first. Johnbod (talk) 00:20, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
  • While I remember, we might mention the elaborate metal punches with ornamental designs used to decorate leather bookbindings & other leather goods, which had been around for centuries, & were often used in combinations to make up a design. Johnbod (talk) 05:21, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
What source would you recommend? I am interested in these things. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 12:40, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
I have a short book on the subject: John P. Harthan, Bookbindings, Second revised edition (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1961 (ie Victoria & Albert Museum), which doesn't mention any link with printing presses I think but gives a basic account of the history. His Introduction is here but not so much use without the pictures. He seems to be a top man anyway. See the preceding piece too. There are lots of books on google books, but I've been looking for stuff on the gold tooling technique that largely replaced the stamps, so can't make a specific recommendation. Let us know if you find something good. This object is interesting for example - was the inscription stamped or incised (see picture of top)? One could ask. I take it you know about metalcut prints, where the image was very largely composed with repeated punch stamps? Johnbod (talk) 15:03, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
No, this is news to me, but thanks for it. I am still quite new to such early realizations of the typographic principle, but their diverseness is fascinating, isn't it? The other day I have seen pictures from the inscriptions on the silver retable at Cividale. Clearly made by individual punches - around 1200. Now I am wondering how widely the techique was also applied in the Byzantine realm. Not much research has be done on it, so it feels a bit like pioneering work. Let me know if you happen to know something about these staurotheca and lipsanotheca, a good museum art catalogue with sharp images can much help identify the technique. I'll follow up your recommended reading, perhaps this is even worth an article of its own one day? Gun Powder Ma (talk) 20:56, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
There are several different articles, or ways of doing an article, we could do with. Don't know about Byzantine stuff, but much use of punches was common to all goldsmiths. The metalcut prints that use punches so much seem to have started at just the same time as Gutenberg btw, so can't clearly be said to be earlier. Johnbod (talk) 02:54, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Marxist historiographical account too narrow[edit]

Under the heading "History", there is actually very little history. The intellectual theory presented under "Economic conditions and intellectual climate" is purely Marxist and does not take into account any variations to that theory, let alone other broad theories behind the development of literacy, so it is biased.

Edits should include something along the lines of "Some historians suggest..." at the start of the first paragraph, then the reference to "The sharp rise of medieval learning and literacy" needs to either be provided with a factual basis and references, and it should be measured by some reference to current cultural historical theory which recognises that secondary literacy (learning through listening) was widespread in Medieval Europe, and that "medieval learning" was available through church attendance, plays, participation in juries and the court system, and to those in service in houses with educated members.

For an overview, the best possible summary is in the 2006 "A Social History of England", ed. by R. Horrox and W. Mark Ormod, which contains essays on writing and links with the rest of Europe. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Athomas.wadh (talkcontribs) 16:07, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Speed of typographic hand-printing[edit]

In the introductory section and in the "Mass production and spread of printed books" section, the article currently says that typographic hand-printing using movable type did not exceed 40 pages per day, compared to over 3000 for printing presses. The difference in printing speeds is important, because previous printing technologies (used in Asia for instance) apparently fell into the typographic hand-printing category.

However, the article History_of_printing_in_East_Asia#The_printing_process says that a skilled printer could produce 1500 or 2000 pages per day. Also, 40 pages per day seems intuitively implausible—presumably even hand-copying could produce 40 pages per day. Should this comparison be removed, or updated to the 1500+ number? Z8 (talk) 19:39, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Neither. The 1500 or 2000 pages per day refer to woodblock printing, not typographic printing. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 02:16, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Invention[edit]

"The invention of printing is credited to Johannes Gutenberg " is badly misleading. Gutenberg's claim is for printing by movable type, not for printing overall (by carved woodblock etc) Andy Dingley (talk) 23:17, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Precisely. There is a difference between hand printing and mechanical printing. Some of the cave art in France is technically 'printing.' If anything, Gutenberg improved the methods for movable type mechanical printing, but the assertion that he invented printing is absurd. (24.107.190.169 (talk) 16:06, 17 April 2013 (UTC)).

Category German Inventions[edit]

I noticed this has gone back and forth a few times and I'm a little confused. Even if Gutenberg didn't invent movable type or "printing" broadly, it's not fair to say the machine known as the "printing press" was his invention -- and thus a German invention? I don't have any particular stake in this -- just curious why it's controversial. --— Rhododendrites talk |  14:45, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. However there is a long-running sockpuppeting problem involving many articles that are not German inventions too. As a result, no-one has been in a hurry to categorise this legitimately as German. See my comment above for the scope of how much is German (press, maybe yes; printing, definitely not).
If you personally have seen adequate sourcing to convince yourself that Gutenberg's was innovative and has primacy, also that Gutenberg was German according to a reasonable interpretation, then go ahead and add it. Andy Dingley (talk) 15:44, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

strange english[edit]

this sentence "In Korea, the movable metal type printing technique was invented in the early thirteenth century during the Goryeo Dynasty. However, the Goryeo Dynasty of Korea printed Jikgi by using the similar method about 72 years earlier than Gutenberg," why would you say "however". that sounds really strange. this is clearly rubbish and there is no source to this claim anyway. I would remove it. if anyone thinks it should stay, reply within the next view days. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 178.203.152.180 (talk) 15:45, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

What about the last 80 years?[edit]

I was hoping to find out a bit about the latest industrial printers that can apparently print millions of individual customized mailers in full color. Instead I find something that runs out of gas even before I was born in the middle of the last century. Let's get hopping. DCDuring (talk) 17:58, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Lead too long[edit]

The lead is way too long, and introduces material that is not covered in the article. The lead is supposed to summarize what's in the article. See Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section. I tried to move some stuff in to the history section but got reverted. Maybe someone else can try, or explain what they didn't like about what I did. Kendall-K1 (talk) 16:24, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Agreed. The explanation is the long-running "culture war" here, over how much space and prominence to give to East Asian historical techniques. The reasonable complaint in the section above should also be addressed, with a sentence or two and links. Johnbod (talk) 16:51, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
I've done my best to trim it, removing a bunch of unnecessary detail (some entirely irrelevant to the history of printing) and double-linking. --Pericles of AthensTalk 14:05, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't believe the tag should be removed until such time as there is an agreement on the intro length. Has this agreement been reached? It does still appear to be too long to me. Leonardo da VinciTalk 17:04, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Really? If you say so. Feel free to revert my edit and put it back, but I've seen intros to featured articles with roughly the same length, to be honest. --Pericles of AthensTalk 23:59, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
The issue is not about the length of the intro in general, but about its length in proportion to the rest of the article. Intros should generally be about 10% of the article's full length and should summarize the article's content. That is not the case here. Leonardo da VinciTalk 11:40, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Recent disruptive edits to the lead[edit]

I would ask that the person using various IP addresses (never the same) to stop reverting my version of the lead to add in a bunch of irrelevant description about the Mongol Empire and Korea's tributary status as a vassal to Song, Yuan, and Ming dynasty China. None of that is relevant in an article about the printing press, and even less relevant in the lead section that's supposed to summarize the article as a whole. You seem awfully new to Wikipedia, because you clearly don't understand the standards that an encyclopedia is supposed to uphold. Also, although he speculates about the strong possibility that paper, the compass, and gunpowder made their way to Europe over the centuries from China, Joseph Needham (who you mentioned in your edit summary but never cited properly) actually says nothing about movable type printing ala Bi Sheng's version being directly transmitted to the West. For that matter, the Chinese form of movable type printing (which remained dwarfed in East Asia by woodblock printing even into the 18th century) did not utilize the Greco-Roman screw press device whatsoever, which is an essential component of the printing press. Gutenberg's printing press was never actually separately invented in China; it was introduced to China in the 19th century and entirely displaced the earlier woodblock printing plus the rarely used Chinese-style of movable type in the tradition of Bi Sheng. Pericles of AthensTalk 07:09, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

I would suggest semi-protecting this indefinitely, or certainly until the reversions die down. Thereafter any such changes should be addressed on the talk page by IP editors before redundant edits are made. Leonardo da VinciTalk 12:44, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
If I had the time or the inclination to rewrite this entire article, I would. Sadly, I do not have either. Hopefully someone brilliant can do so and make this a featured article candidate one day. I've got enough featured articles under my belt, but these days I have no time to invest in Wikipedia, at least not like the spare time I had in the past. Pericles of AthensTalk 18:15, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't know any moderators; aren't they responsible for locking pages? Pericles of AthensTalk 18:16, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes. Usual process it to request protection for an article at WP:RPP, but as I have this on my watchlist and have seen the IP edits I think it is appropriate and will protect. Keith D (talk) 19:06, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Cool, I might alert them about this if the problem persists. Pericles of AthensTalk 21:46, 5 March 2015 (UTC)