Modern stamp commemorating the Gutenberg Bible, the first major European work printed by mechanical movable type
Gutenberg's first major print work was the 42-line Bible in Latin, printed probably between 1452 and 1454 in the German city of Mainz. After Gutenberg lost a lawsuit against his investor Johann Fust, Fust put Gutenberg's employee Peter Schöffer in charge of the print shop. Thereupon Gutenberg established a new one with the financial backing of another money lender. With Gutenberg's monopoly revoked, and the technology no longer secret, printing spread throughout Germany and beyond, diffused first by emigrating German printers, but soon also by foreign apprentices.
In rapid succession, printing presses were set up in Central and Western Europe. Major towns, in particular, functioned as centers of diffusion (Cologne 1466, Rome 1467, Venice 1469, Paris 1470, Kraków 1473, London 1477). In 1481, barely 30 years after the publication of the 42-line Bible, the small Netherlands already featured printing shops in 21 cities and towns, while Italy and Germany each had shops in about 40 towns at that time. According to one estimate, "by 1500, 1000 printing presses were in operation throughout Western Europe and had produced 8 million books." According to another, the output was in the order of twenty million volumes and rose in the sixteenth century tenfold to between 150 and 200 million copies. Germany and Italy were considered the two main centres of printing in terms of quantity and quality.
The near-simultaneous discovery of sea routes to the West (Christopher Columbus, 1492) and East (Vasco da Gama, 1498) and the subsequent establishment of trade links greatly facilitated the global spread of Gutenberg-style printing. Traders, colonists, but perhaps most importantly, missionaries exported printing presses to the new European oversea domains, setting up new print shops and distributing printing material. In the Americas, the first extra-European print shop was founded in Mexico City in 1544 (1539?), and soon after Jesuits started operating the first printing press in Asia (Goa, 1556).
For a long time however, movable type printing remained mainly the business of Europeans working from within the confines of their colonies. According to Suraiya Faroqhi, lack of interest and religious reasons were among the reasons for the slow adoption of the printing press outside Europe: Thus, the printing of Arabic, after encountering strong opposition by Muslim legal scholars and the manuscript scribes, remained prohibited in the Ottoman empire between 1483 and 1729, initially even on penalty of death, while some movable Arabic type printing was done by Pope Julius II (1503−1512) for distribution among Middle Eastern Christians, and the oldest Qur’an printed with movable type was produced in Venice in 1537/1538 for the Ottoman market.
In India, reports are that Jesuits "presented a polyglot Bible to the Emperor Akbar in 1580 but did not succeed in arousing much curiosity." But also practical reasons seem to have played a role. The English East India Company, for example, brought a printer to Surat in 1675, but was not able to cast type in Indian scripts, so the venture failed.
North America saw the adoption by the Cherokee Indian Elias Boudinot who published the tribe's first newspaper Cherokee Phoenix from 1828, partly in his native language, using the Cherokee alphabet recently invented by his compatriot Sequoyah.
In the 19th century, the arrival of the Gutenberg-style press to the shores of Tahiti (1818), Hawaii (1821) and other Pacific islands, marked the end of a global diffusion process which had begun almost 400 years earlier. At the same time, the 'old style' press (as the Gutenberg model came to be termed in the 19th century), was already in the process of being displaced by industrial machines like the steam powered press (1812) and the rotary press (1833), which radically departed from Gutenberg's design, but were still of the same development line.
Johann was granted a privilege for 5 years for movable type printing by the Senate, but died soon after. In 1501, Ottaviano Petrucci produced the first book of sheet music printed from movable type.
In the 15th century, printing presses were established in 77 Italian cities and towns. At the end of the following century, 151 locations in Italy had seen at one time printing activities, of which 130 (86%) were north of Rome. During these two centuries a total of 2894 printers were active in Italy, with only 216 of them located in southern Italy. Ca. 60% of the Italian printing shops were situated in six cities (Venice, Rome, Milan, Naples, Bologna and Florence), with the concentration of printers in Venice being particularly high (ca. 30%).
The first dated prints in England are an indulgence dating to 13 December 1476 (date written in by hand), and the Dicts or Sayings, completed on 18 November 1477. Between 1472 and 1476, Caxton had already published several English works on the continent (see Bruges above).
Von Ghemen published in Copenhagen from 1493 to 1495 and from 1505 to 1510. In the meantime, he was active in the Dutch town of Leiden. For 200 years, official policy confined printing in Denmark largely to Copenhagen.
Đurađ IV Crnojević used the printing press brought to Cetinje by his father Ivan I Crnojević to print the first books in southeastern Europe, in 1493. The Crnojević printing press operated from 1493 through 1496, turning out religious books of which five have been preserved: Oktoih prvoglasnik, Oktoih petoglasnik, Psaltir, Molitvenik and Četvorojevanđelje (the first Bible in Serbian language). Đurađ managed the printing of the books, wrote prefaces and afterwords, and developed sophisticated tables of Psalms with the lunar calendar. The books from the Crnojević press were printed in two colors, red and black, and were richly ornamented. They served as models for many of the subsequent books printed in Cyrillic.
Macarie is brought into Wallachia by the prince Radu cel Mare. The first printed book in Romania is made in 1508, Liturghierul. Octoihul is also printed in 1510, and Evangheliarul is printed in 1512
Until the reign of Peter the Great printing in Russia remained confined to the print office established by Fedorov in Moscow. In the 18th century, annual printing output gradually rose from 147 titles in 1724 to 435 (1787), but remained constrained by state censorship and widespread illiteracy.
PostOrdnung (28.09.1632) was the first document printed in Tartu with date and printer's name. The printing press operated in connection with Tartu University (Academia Gustaviana) that was opened on the same year. The reverse side of the document contains a resolution of Johan Skytte about Academia Gustaviana.
The first published book in Etchmiadzin was titled Սաղմոսարան (Psalms). The printing house was St. Grigor Lusavorich.
The first book which had Armenian letters was published in Mainz (Germany) in 1486. The first Armenian book to be published by the printing press was Urbatagirq—Book of Friday prayers—which was published by Hakob Meghapart in Venice in 1512.
Established by the archbishop Juan de Zumárraga, using Hans Cromberger from Seville, the first book printed was Breve y Mas Compendiosa Doctrina Christina. Between 1539 and 1600 presses produced 300 editions, and in the following century 2,007 editions were printed. In the 16th century, more than 31% of locally produced imprints were in native Indian languages, mostly religious texts and grammars or vocabularies of Amerindian languages. In the 17th century, this rate dropped to 3% of total output.
Almanach voor't jaar 1796. The possibility of printing may be as early as 1784 when Ritter arrived in the Cape but no earlier output has surfaced.:facing p.157 p.160 Ritter is also said to have printed Almanacs for 1795 to 1797 suggesting a start to printing of 1794.
On 29 June 1855, Protestant missionary Kleinschmidt published 300 copies of Luther's catechism in the Nama language which represent the first printed works in that tongue. Political unrest seems to have prevented further printing activities. The press was reported as being functional as late as 1868, but whether printing was resumed is unknown.
First press for printing in Arabic established in the Ottoman Empire, against opposition from the calligraphers and parts of the Ulama. It operated until 1742, producing altogether seventeen works, all of which were concerned with non-religious, utilitarian matters.
Abortive attempt to revive printing in the Ottoman lands
Due to religious qualms, Sultan Bayezid II and successors prohibited printing in Arabic script in the Ottoman empire from 1483 on penalty of death, but printing in other scripts was done by Jews as well as the Greek and Armenian communities (1515 Saloniki, 1554 Bursa (Adrianople), 1552 Belgrade, 1658 Smyrna). In 1727, Sultan Achmed III gave his permission for the establishment of the first legal print house for printing secular works in Arabic script (religious publications still remained forbidden), but printing activities did not really take off until the 19th century.
The first presses were imported by Western priests for their missionary work from Europe and America. The earliest known, an albion press, was set up in the Portuguese colony Macao and later moved to Canton and Ningbo.
The first printing press was imported from Japan for publishing Korea's first Korean-language newspaper Hansong Sunbo. After the press was destroyed by conservatists, Inoue returned with a new one from Japan, reviving the paper as a weekly under the name Hansong Chubo. Presses were also established in Seoul in 1885, 1888 and 1891 by Western missionaries. However, the earliest printing press was apparently introduced by the Japanese in the treaty port of Pusan in 1881 to publish Korea's first newspaper, the bilingual Chosen shinpo.
The first book was a Maori translation of part of the Bible commissioned by the Church Missionary Society: "Ko nga Pukapuka o Paora te Apotoro ki te Hunga o Epeha o Piripai" (The Epistles of St Paul to the Philippians and the Ephesians).
At the same time, then, as the printing press in the physical, technological sense was invented, 'the press' in the extended sense of the word also entered the historical stage. The phenomenon of publishing was born.
^E. L. Eisenstein: "The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe", Cambridge, 1993 pp. 13–17, quoted in: Angus Maddison: "Growth and Interaction in the World Economy: The Roots of Modernity", Washington 2005, p.17f.
^Helmut Schippel: Die Anfänge des Erfinderschutzes in Venedig, in: Uta Lindgren (Hrsg.): Europäische Technik im Mittelalter. 800 bis 1400. Tradition und Innovation, 4th ed., Berlin 2001, p.540f. ISBN 3-7861-1748-9
^Tartu Ülikooli trükikoda 1632–1710: Ajalugu ja trükiste bibliograafia = Druckerei der Universität Dorpat 1632–1710: Geschichte und Bibliographie der Druckschriften. Ene-Lille Jaanson (ed.). Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli Raamatukogu. 2000. ISBN9985-874-14-5.
^ abcdefghijklmHensley C. Woodbridge & Lawrence S. Thompson, "Printing in Colonial Spanish America", Troy, N.Y., Whitson Publishing Company, 1976, quoted in: Hortensia Calvo, "The Politics of Print: The Historiography of the Book in Early Spanish America", Book History, Vol. 6, 2003, pp. 277–305 (278)
^Magdalena Chocano Mena, "Colonial Printing and Metropolitan Books: Printed Texts and the Shaping of Scholarly Culture in New Spain: 1539–1700", Colonial Latin American Historical Review 6, No. 1 (1997): 71–72, quoted in: Hortensia Calvo, "The Politics of Print: The Historiography of the Book in Early Spanish America", Book History, Vol. 6, 2003, pp. 277–305 (296)
^Magdalena Chocano Mena, "Colonial Printing and Metropolitan Books: Printed Texts and the Shaping of Scholarly Culture in New Spain: 1539–1700", Colonial Latin American Historical Review 6, No. 1 (1997): 73&76, quoted in: Hortensia Calvo, "The Politics of Print: The Historiography of the Book in Early Spanish America", Book History, Vol. 6, 2003, pp. 277–305 (279)
^Pedro Guibovich, "The Printing Press in Colonial Peru: Production Process and Literary Categories in Lima, 1584–1699", Colonial Latin American Review 10, No. 2 (2001): 173, quoted in: Hortensia Calvo, "The Politics of Print: The Historiography of the Book in Early Spanish America", Book History, Vol. 6, 2003, pp. 277–305 (296)