Procopius Waldvogel

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Procopius Waldvogel (alternate spellings: Prokop Waldvogel, Procopius Waldfogel) was a medieval printer from Avignon. It is believed that he might have invented printing before Johannes Gutenberg. He flourished in the fifteenth century.


He was a German living in Avignon. He was a silversmith by trade.[1]

He fled from Prague during the Hussite troubles and arrived in Avignon in 1444.[2]

At Avignon he had two students: Manaud Vitalis and Arnaud de Coselhac.[3][4]

His name appears in several contracts of that time, most notably the one in which he agrees to provide Davin de Caderousse with movable metal type of Hebrew letters.[5]

He disappeared from the historical record after 1446.[6]


It has been claimed that he owned molds for printing before Johannes Gutenberg in 1444. However, unlike Gutenberg, he did not print any books.[7]

He had two alphabets and various metal forms and he offered to teach the art of artificial writing to a schoolteacher.[8]

The French historian M. Requin believes, in 1890, that he might have invented the art of printing before Johannes Gutenberg. Unfortunately, Requin never showed any evidence that Waldvogel printed anything, and his allegations are long forgotten.[9]

He was a contemporary of other printers of the time, which included Laurens Janszoon Coster, Jean Brito and Panfilo Castaldi.[10][11]


  1. ^ "The mystery of Procopius Waldvogel". Retrieved 2014-10-05. 
  2. ^ Man, J. (2010). The Gutenberg Revolution. Transworld. p. 118. ISBN 9781409045526. Retrieved 2014-10-05. 
  3. ^ "Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/880 - Wikisource, the free online library". Retrieved 2015-11-16. 
  4. ^ "p.182-3. The American Journal of Archælogy: And of the History of the Fine Arts; 1891". Retrieved 2015-11-16. 
  5. ^ Febvre, L.; Martin, H.J. (1976). The Coming of the Book: The Impact of Printing 1450-1800. Verso. p. 52. ISBN 9781859841082. Retrieved 2014-10-05. 
  6. ^ Childress, D. (2008). Johannes Gutenberg and the Printing Press. Ebsco Publishing. p. 147. ISBN 9780761340249. Retrieved 2014-10-05. 
  7. ^ "Printing and Publishing - Renaissance: An Encyclopedia for Students |". Retrieved 2014-10-05. 
  8. ^ Fellow, A. (2009). American Media History. Cengage Learning. p. 3. ISBN 9781111781552. Retrieved 2014-10-05. 
  9. ^ "Sacramento Daily Union 27 September 1890 — California Digital Newspaper Collection". Retrieved 2014-10-05. 
  10. ^ School of Library and Information Sciences University of North Carolina Frederick G. Kilgour Distinguished Research Professor, C.H. (1998). The Evolution of the Book. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 85. ISBN 9780195353365. Retrieved 2014-10-05. 
  11. ^ [1]

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