Talk:Printing press/Europe versus East Asia debates

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Scope of this article

This article is about the printing press. It is not about movable type. It is not about block printing. It is not about Typography. It is not about the History of yypography It is not about the History of Typography in East Asia. It is not about the general subject of Printing. Printing does not redirect here. It links here, as is appropriate, Movable type does not redirect here. it links here, as is appropriate. There is now a prominent link about where to look for analogous developments in East Asia. I was getting tired of continually restoring the integrity of this article 2 weeks ago.I am not happy that it was necessary to do so again. For further comments,see my note at User_talk:Mukerjee . DGG 03:38, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Bi Sheng invented the first printing press

It is indisputable that Bi Sheng invented the first printing press in the world. As some people are attempting to use clever semantics to make it sound like Bi Sheng's porcelain movable type was not a printing press, when in fact it was an early version of the printing press. I believe that some people here, instead of focusing on historical accuracy, prefer to promote a history that is centralized around Western Civilisation with the purpose of promoting "Western Superiority." As a scientific scholar from the United Kingdom, I am very proud of the achievements of my Western culture. But suffice it to say, I am also a stringent proponent of academic accuracy and human equality, both in the name of science and moral ethics. As such, I must oppose those individuals who place "Western Superiority POV" on Wikipedia as this is supposed to be an avenue of vast information, that maintains NPOV.

please sign and date you comments by entering 4 tildes ~~~~ so the responses can be kept straight. It is undoubted that Bi Sheng invented wooden movable type. There is no evidence that he used a press of any kind--the existing text and the many illustrations show printing in his tradition being done without a press, by pacing the paper on the type and rubbing it with a ball. This is not a press. a press is a piece of machinery or exerting uniform pressure on a flat surface. If you think he used one, find the evidence. It will make quite a sensation in international scholarship. DGG (talk) 02
05, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Chinese invention of printing press well documented in historical records

I agree with this as well, based on my research which I conducted at the Library of Congress, it is apparently indisputable based on the historical records stored there that the Chinese invented the first printing press and that Gutenberg either developed it independently or was somehow influenced by Chinese technology transmitted to the West, perhaps by Jesuit Missionaries or other influential Western scholars. It is known at least, that the Chinese technology of block printing was already in Europe long before Gutenbergs time (Science and Civilisation in China, Joseph Needham et al.) and may have influenced Gutenbergs developement of his version of movable type, assuming that he developed it "independently." Although, just to be fair, perhaps both the Chinese and Gutenberg should be given credit, since this issue is contentious.

As above, there is no evidence that the chinese ever invented a press for use in printing. if you think there is, produce it. DGG (talk) 02:05, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

    @DGG.  Do you want the evidence in English or Korean or Chinese?  You won't find it in English.  Think why.  —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ducati748 (talkcontribs) 00:33, 12 July 2010 (UTC) 

Gutenberg invented the first printing press

Johannes Gutenberg was the first, I repeat, the VERY FIRST all over the globe, who used a press for printing. That is, in other words, he and nobody else invented the printing press. Specifically, neither Bi Sheng nor any other East Asian inventor, be him Chinese, Korean or Japanese, invented the printing press, for the simple reason that the device of a press was unknown then in East Asia. Why? Because the concept of a continuous screw remained unknown in China at least until 1500 (see Donald Lach: Asia in the Making of Europe, Chapter on Technology).

In Europe, on the other hand, the screw was known to the Greeks since about the third century BC and the press had been invented as early as the second or first century BC and was used for pressing olives by the Romans. Gutenberg then made use of this well known agricultural device, which never ceased to be used in the middle ages, to use it FOR THE FIRST TIME for printing purposes.

Since all the other folks, Bi Sheng etc., have had nothing to do with the printing press and actually had no idea know how one would even look like, I propose to delete all references to them and concentrate on

1. Invention of the printing press for agricultural purposes (invention of the screw) 2. Adaption by Gutenberg for printing purposes

Please sign so we can keep the responses straight. There is, incidentally, no evidence of what sort of press Gutenberg adapted for printing. It may conceivably have been a wine press. There was, interestingly, a press used for bookbinding prior to Gutenberg, but there are no details known. DGG (talk) 02:05, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

The printing press was not invented in East Asia

Thankfully, the deeply misleading passages on woodblock and movable type printing have now been removed from the article. Nevertheless, in order to guard against any possible reversal, allow me to quote two references which make it unmistakably clear that the printing press was unknown in East Asia:

  • This association of die, matrix, and lead in the production of durable typefaces in large numbers and with each letter strictly identical, was one of the two necessary elements in the invention of typographic printing in Europe. The second necessary element was the concept of the printing press itself, an idea that had never been conceived in the Far East.

SOURCE: printing.Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved November 5, 2006, from Encyclopædia Britannica 2006 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD

  • John Man, in his book, The Gutenberg Revolution (2002), emphasizes as well the absence of other elements in Eastern cultures that could favor the invention of a Gutenberg-style press:

    “Chinese paper was suitable only for calligraphy or block-printing; there were no screw-based presses in the east, because they were not wine-drinkers, didn’t have olives, and used other means to dry their paper.”

SOURCE: Ricardo Duchesne, Asia First?, The Journal of the Historical Society VI, 1 (March 2006), p.83

    • WRONG!!! it is a well known historicall fact that the ancient Chinese manufactured wine as well as various other different alcoholic beverages such as sake, which is usually mistakenly associated with the Japanese, for consumption by the general public. The only difference is that it was not as popular in China as it was in Europe due to differences in culinary preferences. Refer to Science and Civilisation in China, Sir Joseph Needham ****
this is true, but the production of neither wine nor olive oil requires a press. There are perfectly good illustration of both European and chinese production of wine by trampling. DGG (talk) 02:05, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

--> Sections on woodblock and movable type belong to 'printing' or wherever, but NOT to the entry 'printing press'. Ave. Gun Powder Ma 02:18, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Woodblock and movable type printing

I merged the section on woodblock printing and movable type printing in 'printing press' with those here in 'printing'. The reason is that woodblock printing and movable type printing were misplaced in 'printing press', since a printing press is very much a separate invention and has conceptually nothing to do with the others. I know the confusion of printing press and movable type is very common, leading often to the assumption that Bi Sheng or the Koreans invented the press, but nothing of that sort is true. They are really two different things. All printing was done by manually rubbing in East Asia, but Gutenberg's press was a mechanical thing. It worked like agricultural screw presses, which were AFAIK unknown in East Asia until 1500. I have yet to see a single shred of evidence that woodblock printing or East Asian movable type printing was dony by a mechanical press. Gun Powder Ma 18:29, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Moveable type IS indisputably a Printing Press, regardless if it was invented in China or Germany

Moveable type IS indisputably a Printing Press, regardless if it was invented in China or Germany, let us focus on academic accuracy and not the trivial issues of cultural or national superiority as it seems obvious some individuals argue their POV, employing the usage of clever words and semantics such as saying that "movable type is not printing press" etc. when indisputably it is a printing press. There is no debate on this issue. Gutenbergs' main contribution to the technology was simply developing a different design of the printing press, either "independent" or perhaps he may have had some inspiration from Christian missionaries who may have brought back to Europe some knowledge of Chinese movable type printing technology. The historical documents are the utmost and accurate pieces of evidence.

that is simply not the meaning of the words. A press is a device for pressing something using a machine of some sort--usually a screw, but sometimes a lever or a more complicated machine. . Printing in china took place using a ball held in the hand, and used to transfer the ink by the pressure of rubbing. Please do not repeat this error further. The Chinese and the Koreans did wonderful technological innovations in printing--they are indeed responsible for the first invention of movable type. Credit where Credit is due. If you think otherwise, find a quotation from a Reliable source and present it on the talk page here. DGG (talk) 19:52, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Moveable type was invented in China. Printing press was invented by Gutenberg

Movable type, which allowed individual characters to be arranged to form words and which is a separate invention from the printing press, was invented in China by Bi Sheng between 1041 to 1048.

added this part. -intranetusa

"The "disk of Phaistos" [1] of Minoan Crete 1700 BC is relevant if one can form a concept of a moveable-type method of printing before the development of modern paper, inks and presses. It has been, and is likely in the future to remain, a very strong candidate for the first moveable-type printing system."

Unfortunately it is not, see the article on it--it was produced by stamping symbols onto clay. DGG 18:16, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Other notable contributions just before Gutenberg's were
- King Htai Tjong (Korea, cast bronze type, around 1403 AD)
- Laurens Janszoon Koster (Holland, wooden type with hand carved letters, around 1430 AD).
It would seem that Gutenberg is remembered above others of around the same time for his novel use of the press, a technique for mass-producing durable metal letters, the development of new metal alloys for the type, use of an oil-based ink and several other small incremental refinements. In part, though, the association of movable type printing with Gutenberg is the result of his "being in the right place at the right time" (for the technology to have very great impact), as the movable type printing concept is not a tremendously difficult one ... since it seems to have been independently re-invented, in one form or another, repeatedly through history.
[comments by donb - 12 July 2006]

I understand that this is a touchy subject for many reasons, but I wonder if we might be able to resolve some of the conflict by careful word choice. Much of this argument comes down to definitions of “press.” Is a “press” merely a bed of moveable type on which paper is pressed by hand pressure, or is a “press” a bed of moveable type supported by a frame that exerts mechanical pressure on the paper? Perhaps we could more clearly define our terms at the beginning of the article. I think the distinction between the “invention” of printing and the “development” of machinery should not be overlooked. Would it be fair to say that “printing” (moveable type) was invented in East Asia, while the “printing press” (a machine) was developed in Europe? I'm not an expert by any means, just a user who wants the information to be as accurate as possible. Lastwordsmith (talk) 16:14, 29 February 2008 (UTC) 29 Feb 2008

"printing press" in a mechanical instrument for doing printing. I think that definition is fairly clear. "Press" as a verb is a more general; you can press something between your hands, but your hands are not a press. I agree that there would be some purpose in separating the material on printing presses as such from the concept of "printing press"as a cultural landmark, but they tend to be discussed together. DGG (talk)

Exactly what did Gutenburg invent?

Who really invented the first printing press? I was positive it was Gutenberg until i read this...

:Largely a misconception. Gutenberg perfected movable type -- the printing press idea had existed for some centuries before but never really perfected, ie—successful. There is a proverb about genius and invention:

"Genius is only recognized in people who succeed"
The Chinese invented the original printing press in around 868 AD( the earliest book printed with a printing press. They did not succeed
Most Wikipedia articles dealing with Gutenberg miss the essential point of his "invention". This Printing article amost hits the nail right on the head. almost—but not quite. It helps to distinguish between a printing press (which might use non-moveable type, woodblocks, engraved plates, etchings etc) and the techniques of printing with moveable type. "moveable type" implies Gutenburg's system of casting type from matrices: Gutenburg's significant contribution was the device called the hand mould. It allowed printing sorts (letters, punctuation, numerals, etc) to be cast in large numbers. A letter matrice was slid into the hand mould at the bottom, the device was clamped shut, and molten type metal poured in from the top. The product was called a sort, and the average printer tradesman could make about one sort per minute.
The hand mold is Gutenburg's key invention & contribution to printing Everything else required for printing with moveable type: paper, ink and a press, existed for 1000 years or more before the 1450's.
The idea of Gutenburg being unique by printing with oil-based inks sounds a bit overrated. Anyone else attempting to make the same invention would have to develop oil-based ink. Water-based inks made with 15th century chemistry were impractical for printing with metal type. This is a POV issue.
Undisputed historical fact: Gutenburg invented his hand mould, and that hand mould that was the first practical means of making sorts in large quantities. The one statement that can be made about Gutenburg with certainty: He perfected the hand mould in Europe, and was first to perfect a metal moveable type system in Europe based on casting sorts from matrices (using his hand mould).
The Chinese developed several kinds of printing press prior to Gutenburg, one that used wooden blocks which were moveable, and another one using ceramic sorts that was not successful; the ceramic pieces were fragile and broke easily. The basic problem with Chinese printing—the reason it never took off—was not due to technical limitation. It has to do with the Chinese language needing between 400,000 and 50,000 ideograms (similar to pictograms), posing a logistics nightmare.
The Koreans came up with their own moveable metal type system separate from European and Chinese efforts, circa 1313. My reference The Day the Universe Changed does not describe the technique used to cast sorts, but notes that letter moulds were made the same way as Europeans later made them—by striking a letter punch (die) into a softer metal which was then hardened to take repeated castings. The technique "...was well known at the time, as it had been in common use since the early twelfth century by coiners and casters of brass-ware and bronze."
The Korean moveable type system did not catch on due to a Confucian prohibition on the commercialization of printing. The technique was also restricted to use by the royal foundry for official state material only. In the early 15th century King Sajong of Korea invented a simplified alphabet of 24 characters for use by common people; may have made large-scale typecasting feasible, "...but did not have the impact it deserved. It may be that the Korean typecasting technique then spread to Europe with the Arab traders. Korean typecasting methods were almost identical to those introduced by Gutenburg, whose father was a member of the Mainz fellowship of coiners." Gutenburg was a silversmith/goldsmith and knew the same techniques of cutting dies and punches for making coins from master moulds as the Koreans adapted to their system.
All Wikipedia articles that discuss Gutenburg need to be updated with the above info and POV-aligned for consistency. Johann Gutenberg article
Arbo 17:42, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

China and printing: the first printing press

The paragraph which follows seems a bit wobbly:

"In China, there were no texts similar to the Bible which could guarantee a printer return on the high capital investment of a printing press, and so the primary form of printing was wood block printing which was more suited for short runs of texts for which the return was uncertain."

I know nothing about the market for books in tenth century China, but the claim that block printing is more suited to short run work than metal type is not explainable by the economic argument used. The reason that Gutenberg's development took root so quickly is that it SAVED money as against the more expensive/time consuming method of block carving.
Not exactly. The success of Gutenburg's method had much more to his key invention, the hand mould, as I have described in detail further up this discussion page.
Arbo 17:50, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Setting a page of type was much quicker/cheaper than carving a large wood block. The shorter the run the more "damaging to the bottom line" this difference becomes. If it costs $2000 to originate a book by carving wood blocks and $1000 to do it by type setting, the cost pricture for editions of different lengths will be (assuming the cost of machining is the same for both methods -- let's say $1 --, and ignoring the capital cost -- which IS the real explanation) Letterpress
100 @ $1 = $100 + $1000 = $1100, or $11 each
500 @ $1 = $500 + $1000 = $1500, or $3 each
1000 @ $1 = $1000 + $1000 = $2000, or $2 each
Wood Block
100 @ $1 = $100 + $2000 = $2100, or $21 each
500 @ $1 = $500 + $2000 = $2500, or $5 each
1000 @ $1 = $1000 + $2000 = $3000, or $3 each.
The point here is not wether these costs are correct: it's the relationship between the unit costs for the different quantities that's the point. The claim that "wood block printing was more suited for short runs" is exactly the opposite of the facts. At 100 copies wood block is 90% more expensive, while at 1000 it's only 50% more expensive.

Now it's true that you couldn't run millions of copies from a wood block, but neither was Gutenberg running that many copies. The big reason why letterpress printing was not developed in the Far East is to do with the investment of capital: for whatever reasons (and no doubt the re are many) China was not a place where specualitve investments could be made, and their inventions were developed by others.
Not exactly. The success of Gutenburg's method had much more to his key invention, the hand mould, as I have described in detail further up this discussion page. The advantage of Gutenburg's method was a matter of economic scale in being able to make vast quantities letters to print with very cheaply.
Arbo 17:50, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Except that the explanation, explicit includes capital costs (i.e. the cost of the press). Once you include that then the cost becomes uncompetitive unless you are going to use the press a lot. Roadrunner 21:18, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Removed this. First of all, we do have a very good idea of the comparative literacy levels between China and Europe. Second, I'd like a reference for the second statement since it appears a bit odd. Roadrunner 21:18, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Removed uncited, vague mention of movable type being used "years before" in China.

Gutenberg or the Chinese

Many people say it was the chinese who invented the first printing press, many people say it was Johannes Gutenberg. But who is correct? I do not know and i would like to know. Thankyou

recent edits

Although WK proved to be a sockpuppet, the article has now been appropriately restored. I hope my fellow editors will now work on the article, instead of defending themselves against each other. DGG 02:25, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Just wanted everyone to know that I am not a sockpuppet and DGG, Johnbod, Khoikhoi, and Dmcdevit now all know this. I guess there is a student as the university where I teach that created a lot of sockpuppets all at the same time, just when I created my own account, and he also usually works on articles related to China. Anyways, hope that I can help!White Krane 17:28, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

PP in China

Where is this now discussed? And shouldn't this be moved or copied or at least referenced in the HTEA article?

Where and when did the "PP in China for centuries" come in and if it is true, then I believe it needs to be discussed at the very beginning of this article, not hidden down in the middle. We would also have to change a lot of other pages as well. Ma's arguements in the Talk above seem to disprove any printing press in China, and I agree with him that the printing press is a different thing than movable type, which China DID have for at least 400 before Gutenberg. White Krane 17:42, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

I think the issue here is "when does printing equipment become a press" - or more precisely, something we can call a press without being misleading or confusing for casual readers. At the moment we have only been able to reference printing by "rubbing" (see woodblock printing) in pre-Gutenberg Asian printing - ie the ink passes from the block/type to the paper by manual pressure with a hand-tool. GP Ma objects to calling the equipment for this, whatever else there is in the way of formes, type-boxes & general furniture etc, a "press". I can see his point, although I am in two minds about it myself. Anyway, we need more detail on what the Asian equipment actually looked like & did to resolve this, I think. Johnbod 18:06, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

The place to put the details, when we do resolve this is on the HTEA page; as we do not seem to have a section on the PP in China, this sort of summary of what we have been discussing should go there. , The place to put a summary if there is anything to summarize, is here. Until there is, the phrase should go out--without the least prejudice towards putting it back in again. But Johnbod, is there anyone knowledgeable who has ever referred to rubbing as using a printing press? As I've seen it described, the key element is a screw, as in the presses for other purposes. In terms of the definition in the first sentence of the article, the key phrase is "mechanical device"
In using terminology, even more than any other sort of discussion, we really have do have to follow the scholarly consensus. Not just because of the WP standards, but in any context at all, because otherwise it will really confuse the reader. Rather than have another quarrel, I've changed the language, and copied it into the HTEA page in a new section, which I hope others will add to.DGG 02:17, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Personally I'm not convinced of the magical importance of the screw, which after all has long been superceded in Western presses (and from very early on in the case of the high-pressure presses needed for engraving). But I think when the pressure in the contact between paper and block/type is mechanical rather than manual a line has been crossed. DGG, I'm not entirely happy with your edit on the other side - you say "it is not clear" when really it should be "we are not clear". But as a temporary thing I guess it is ok. Johnbod 03:16, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

last set of deletions

I agree with most of them, but such an extensive change should be proposed here first. I have re-inserted the ones that I personally think important. Rather than change it back, we can then discuss them here, and see what other people think.

I have once more reverted to the last stable sourced version. I remind everyone this is the article on the printing press, not movable type. The lede paragraph contains the scholarly consensus, as I understand it. if additional material is introduced , it must be exactly sourced. DGG (talk) 05:52, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
The current versions introduction which you've reverted to completely about the movable-type press, with a deeply ingrained euro-centric bias, which contradicts much of the already sourced material in [Printing] and [Bi_Sheng]. --Davémon 11:33, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Gutenberg POVness

I have a question. If Korea was the first to bring about the metal movable printing, how could Gutenberg's printing method being superior apply to Korea (in that comparison).

Also, what's the point of writing a big chunk of the article on the "Gutenberg Western Civilization point of view" (& it's placed as the very first paragraph after the intro, eh hem)? Maybe the person who wrote all that is a Gutenbergian Asian-hater? (Wikimachine 05:20, 2 August 2007 (UTC))

for details about the Korean method, see the article History of Typography in East Asia and the specialized literature which needs to be incorporated there. It's a fascinating subject, and I expect to do more with it, to the limit of what's available in European languages. The point is that it almost certainly did not influence the European development. it was metal movable type to be sure, but if anyone has evidence that it was used in a press let it be produced. Wikimachine, do you know of some? What can you add to that article on this--or on aythingelse--additional workers are very much needed here.

It is just conceivably possible that Chinese movable type may have been known in the West--though it too was was never used in a press--but centuries of effort to find a direct link have failed. Considering that there are undoubted cases where there is a direct link and it is easily demonstrable--such as paper, the absence of any evidence at all makes the null hypothesis that there was no influence. But this is discussed in the history of typography article and elsewhere. But the Korean presses should be mentioned here as a separate tradition. There really are multiple traditions, and the printing press based one derived from Gutenberg is not only unique technically, but the only one of the traditions that really had major cultural influence. That's the noteworthy thing that Needham and associates were faced with: the failure in China, and the success in Germany. (Needham did not actually write the vol. on printing in his well-known series--the eminent Chinese specialist Tsuen-Hsuin Tsien was the author. ) It was a peripheral method of production in China & a niche method in Korea--but the basis of intellectual civilization in Western Europe. This has been explained of grounds of technology, or economics, or many other things, and does not represent in any way any greater merit for Western civilization. DGG (talk) 06:49, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

I think the Chinese side of things does deserve a mention in the intro, even if the cultural impact was limited. We're talking about a technology, not a cultural development. Also, people, there's no need to wikilink every noun, and certainly not the same noun 3 times in the one paragraph. It just makes it harder to read the article if every word is linked. See WP:MOS-L. -- Hongooi 01:35, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

It maybe difficult to link Gutenberg and East Asian Prints, sometimes western history excludes Asians. For example Chinese contributions to development of American railroads. We know that metal printed material existed before Gutenberg and it was from Korea. We know clay prints existed in China even before that. We should just state what we can prove for now and maybe add a section on possible theories. One other thing, the Chinese side seems to keep putting in this vassal relationship with the rest of Asia, but it should be noted that the vassal relationship was not all throughout Asian history. Japan had a vassal relation in the early days with China, and it was off and on as their needs and development changed, and Korea also had a vassal relationship that was off and on. Only during times of war and need did the relationship exist. If you look at Korean history one point in time when Korea did not have much of a relationship with China was during the Koryo Dynasty. In fact, the writing during the Koryo Dynasty refers to itself as an empire and the ruler an emperor. This is vastly different from the beginning of the Joseon Dynasty which refers to itself as a Kingdom/King. The Koryo Dynasty had a peaceful transition their was no unification war. It was also during the Koryo Dynasty that China was conquered by the Mongolians. If your going to put in this vassal perspective please don't do it in a general form. The vassal relationships were always transitional and Koryo was not a vassal during this time period. Maybe you should mention it in more detail the China article. Also, the alliances were with specific dynasties, not with China as a whole, that is worth mentioning cause China tends to think anything with in comtemporary China belongs to them, but a vassal relation with the Manchu are not with the Chinese.--Objectiveye 03:14, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

provide the references. and if you vandalize the article further you will be blocked. And discussions of whether the Koreans or the Chinese are responsible for printing in Korea don't belong at this article, but the sources in the books cited indicate that at least some of it it was a Korean response to Chinese invasion. DGG (talk) 19:58, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
What is going on here, I thought this was common knowledge. The first printing technologies were from China made of Clay, then around the 1250's AD the Koreans print with metal moveable print; A museum in France has metal moveable prints from the Koryo Dynasty, if you look at the reference above it shows you a metal moveable print from the Koryo dynasty. What in the world is going on here!!! I didn't realize this was a issue or was controversial. The only real question to ask is why in Asia did the printing press not have a similiar impact as it did in Europe. If you look at all the references about Gutenbergs printing press, their is always a footnote or it start out by stating "in the west" the first printing press was etc.... I'm confused about the controversy in this article, are the other editors stating that China didn't have the worlds first prints, are the editors stating that the metal prints from Korea are not metalic enough, are the other editors stating that Asians did not have these inventions.....I'm confused about the controvesy in this article. Please, someone clarify for me what the arguements are about. Another reference just in case; Thanks --Objectiveye 23:00, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I think the reason why the article is getting edited so much is because, the article is not inclusive of the world and Asian history of prints. It appears to be ethnocentric to the west. The article is using one term the "press" to entirely exclude or relegate as insignificant the print history of East Asia. If you modify the article to be less ethnocentric toward Europe it may get edited less. If you have a section on Print history of the world first, before padding Gutenberg on the back. People might not feel as if this is a silly article.--Objectiveye 23:20, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I think if the article included more info on the human history of prints especially in the intro section. And not focus on weather or not it is a "press" or press-type, it would be less ethnocentric and others would feel a sense of inclusion. (There would be less edits) Otherwise it seems to be some sort of ethnocentric article, which is excluding the world history of prints by using a narrow definition for the term "press". I'm telling you instead of having a Euro-centric article about the printing press, may be make it a inclusive article about human history of prints and later how it affects the world. I'm sure the article will get less edits if you write it that way. Then if an editor needs go in to detail about Gutenberg's printing press, we should have that in the Gutenberg article --Objectiveye 23:33, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Anyways, thats my 2 cents......You guys can edit the article however you want to, I'll leave it alone. I understand your way of categorizing, but I think it is just following the same ethnocentric method that western history books in the US follow. It may make some feel as if the world history of prints is being relegated as less significant to the west. I was hoping for a more inclusive version in Wiki. Thanks for the entertaining discussion. I hope more people think about what I said, if they get frustrated with the constant edits by other users. --Objectiveye 23:49, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Unsupported claims

This article is experiencing repeated attacks. If there is a case for the inclusion of invention prior to Gutenberg then include good references. As it stands and based on a review of the contributors edit history these unsupported claims look nothing more than nationalism. (signature added)


There is no need for a section on pre-gutenberg printing presses until there is some information that there were pre-Gutenberg printing presses, or at least that anyone has ever said so in a RS. An illustration of the remarkably ingenious Chinese arrangement of movable type that does not show a printing press belongs in other articles, not this one. Some of the earlier problems may be a confusion of the english verb press with the noun. To press is a multimeaning term possibly applicable to hand operations of various sorts, but a press is a machine. This article is about machines used for printing. DGG (talk) 00:18, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Now seriously

Seriously, who is poor fellow (or fellows) who never tires to spin the article into a story about East Asian printing, despite the fact that the printing press was invented 10 000 miles away and the vast majority in scholarship agrees on its local Middle European origins? So fine, somebody has gone to pains to dig out some obscure quote that Gutenberg actually owned his press to Chinese if he had constructed his machine from it...

I am now not addressing the blockheads, but the reasonable minds: Don't you also feel that this article now the touch of cultural propaganda or not? I feel quote and science are misused here - but also at other pages concerning printing - in a grand scale to push an agenda.

I am refraining for now from any changes to show my faith in Wiki's self-cleaning abilities, but if this trend of cleverly introducing and interpreting quotes and minority views is not stopped, others and me might see compelled to follow the same path. After all, we all know that there is a quote for every conceivable opionion, but far from all opinions are actually worth quoting. Kind regards Gun Powder Ma (talk) 17:29, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

PS: For those who are not immediately familiar with the subject: Mechanical presses as used in European printing remained unknown in East Asia,[1] [2] therefore the whole article creates a false image. Instead, printing remained a unmechanized, laborious process with pressing the back of the paper onto the inked block by manual "rubbing" with a hand tool. In Korea, the first printing presses were introduced as late as 1881-83[3] [4], while in Japan, after an early but brief interlude in the 1590s[5], Gutenberg's printing press arrived in Nagasaki in 1848 on a Dutch ship.[6]
China's contribution to the printing press with the movable type should be given more credit. It is barely mentioned in the wikipedia article, as if the contribution were insignificat.--Jtd00123 (talk) 19:05, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Jtd--the reason "China's contribution to the printing press" are not given more credit here is because there were not any such contributions. They never invented a printing press. They did invent movable type, and their invention is very fully discussed both in the general article there and in other appropriate articles. The actual historical credit is glory enough. DGG (talk) 16:32, 13 May 2008 (UTC)


  1. ^ Ricardo Duchesne, "Asia First?", The Journal of the Historical Society, Vol. 6, Issue 1 (March 2006), pp.69-91 (83) (PDF)
  2. ^ printing.Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved November 5, 2006, from Encyclopædia Britannica 2006 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD
  3. ^ Albert A. Altman, "Korea's First Newspaper: The Japanese Chosen shinpo", The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 43, No. 4. (Aug., 1984), pp. 685-696
  4. ^ Melvin McGovern, "Early Western Presses in Korea", Korea Journal, 1967, pp.21-23
  5. ^ Akihiro Kinoshita, Keiichi Ishikawa, “Early Printing History in Japan”, Gutenberg-Jahrbuch, Volume 73.1998 (1998), pp. 30-35 (34)
  6. ^ Akihiro Kinoshita, Keiichi Ishikawa, “Early Printing History in Japan”, Gutenberg-Jahrbuch, Volume 73.1998 (1998), pp. 30-35 (33f.)

Far Eastern printing

I mean, seriously, who believes that the intro "history", as it is now, it not a thinly veiled attempt to lure attention away from Gutenberg's press? Why is it that aficionados of Far Eastern printing feel such a deep urge to put their material in articles about 'Western printing'? Do articles on eastern printing regularly begin with long paragraphs on Western printing? What is the Wikipedia separation into these two traditions then good for (not my idea, but now, I gues, we have to work by it)? This is getting ludicrous. I want a precise reference to a WP guideline which justifies lengthy digressions to topics which are covered elsewhere by their own article(s). This quastionable practice should stop now. Regards Gun Powder Ma (talk) 04:36, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

The history of printing is vital to the article, because it explains why the press was an important innovation over previous methods. Serendipodous 07:58, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
My own opinion is that the history of printing belongs in its own article, and needs only a very sparse summary here. chinese and Japanese printing, in particular, did not use a printing press at all, and do not need to be discussed here beyond saying that. Korean printing did, but this belongs in the specialized article on the subject. DGG (talk) 04:38, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Printing Press refers to a specific type of printing not practiced by the Chinese or Koreans, and is not just another word for printing.

A number of people erroneously are confusing the word "printing" with the word "printing press", and mistakenly think they mean the same thing, which is not true. "Printing press" refers to a specific type of printing that was not invented or practiced by the Chinese or Koreans. Yes, the Chinese and Koreans practiced printing, but is no more correct to say the Chinese and Korean used a printing process to say something was "block printed" when it it fact was printed with moveable type.

There is a number of specific features associate with the printing press that were not part of Chinese or Korean printing, among which are:

- Use of a mechanical screw press for printing. Korean and Chinese did not use presses in printing, but hand rubbed to the page to obtain the imagine.

- Use of metal moveable type made from a special "type metal" allow specifically developed for the moveable type. While the Koreans had metal moveable type, it was made from a different metal with vastly different properties. Type metal melts at around 300 C, while bronze melts at 800 C, more than twice the temperature. Nor, was the Korean bronzed used any special alloy developed specifically for making type. The difference is significant, since the typical printer could melt type metal on his stove, while you would need a special furnace to melt bronze, making it more difficult.

- Printing Press type was made first creating a hard metal (steel) punch to form the mold on a softer metal (such as copper). Koreans printing, on the other hand, used wood punches to form the mold in sand. This is significant, because it meant the printing press molds were much more durable, and could be moved about and traded much more readily than the Korean method.

- Printing presses on printed on either parchment or European style paper. European paper is signficantly different from Chinese and Korea paper, and required different techniques. In order to print on the European type paper, printers using printing presses would slightly dampen the paper, something not required by Korean or Chinese printing. And Koreans did not print on parchment (parchment is essentially a type of leather made from animal skins)

- The printing press was used to print on both sides of the same paper. I believe that Korea and Chinese only printed on one side due the nature of their paper.

- The use of a specific type of "printers" ink that had different composition than the ink used by Chinese and Korean printers, and from the ink used in writing by hand.

The Far East printing of the Chinese and Koreans lacked the above features found, and so it is no more ethnocentric to exclude discussion of their type of printing in this article than it would be to not discuss metal type on an article wood block printing. GB136.2.1.153 (talk) 03:54, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps what this article needs a section clearly explaing what are the properties of the printing press. (talk) 03:59, 13 January 2010 (UTC)GB

I cleaned up the mess (classical Wikipedia:Coatrack) and rewrote large parts of the article. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 14:45, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

GB. No one is confusing printing with printing press. You are very wrong about your assumptions. Quickly, I can tell you that not all printing by the Koreans and Chinese were done by rubbing. Rubbing? Koreans did use a template to press the ink from the type to the paper. Yes. PRESSED. You have no idea what you are talking about. Have you even visited Korea or China to see their artifacts? I'm sure you haven't. And your definitions of the printing press is wrong as well as you are describing a European printing press. Arguments like "The printing press was used to print on both sides of the same paper," the type of metals and inks, and some nonsense about the type of paper used. Who gives a crap? You're only describing a particular kind of a European press. Who says a printing press has to print on both sides of the paper? Who? Stop making stuff up. Please.Ducati748 (talk) 00:20, 12 July 2010 (UTC)


It seems that whether the Asian press should be included in this article or not. Well, the Asian printing press was obviously made first, but the Europeans first made use of it so let's say:

The Chinese and the Koreans (wait, is Japan included also?) first invented the printing press, but the Europeans with Gutenburg's printing press first made mass use of it, rendering European dominance in printing.

I think it's fair.

P.S: For some reasons, I can't seem to log in.. I'm the user Hegemarch —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:16, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Europeans invented the printing press? Hahaha. More cultural bias in English Wikipedia.

Why do the Europeans want to take credit for everything: "discovery" of North and South America (didn't people already live there?); Christianity (contrary to your depictions, Jesus is/was not white); and now the printing press? Anyone with a half a brain knows that the printing press was not invented in Europe. But, let's just say, for argument's sake, that the Europeans did indeed invent the "press" portion of the printing press. Okay. Is that important? Probably not. Or is the fact that movable type was used? What is the more significant part of the invention - the press or the printing (movable type)? It's safe to say that it's the movable type. In this case, the metal-movable type. The whole purpose of printing was to pass along information. But, white people want to take credit for both the press and the movable type. So, as educated kids in the western world, you're fed this huge lie that Europeans invented it because that's what they want you to believe. Nothing wrong with that. Every race wants to take credit for everything that's good. If the teachers are white, the authors of the textbooks are white, and the Government is white, how else do you want to write (rewrite) history? Why do you think the Americans celebrate Christopher Columbus Day? Because he discovered America, stupid! No one greeted Columbus and his gang of convicts when he landed in the Bahamas, right? North and South America had no inhabitants. Mayans, Aztecs, Incas, what? Who are they? Only if most Americans knew that Columbus was actually the first American terrorist (murderer, slave trader, rapist, etc.) and not its discoverer.

Anyways, going back to the press. Europeans always believed that they invented the printing press. They have a right to believe that. That's fine if they didn't know any better. But, I don't think inventing the "press" was a big deal. It's not a complicated machine. Is it even a machine? It's certainly a tool, but a machine? I don't even think it's worthy of being mentioned. A press. Big deal! How about a grape press? Olive press? Garlic press? Bench press? Pressing pants? Who invented those? Who knows? Is that important? Nope. But printing is one of mankind's greatest inventions, right? Does it matter that some device that Europeans called a "press" was used? Nope. Not important. Then, was it the movable-metal type? Those little metal things in the shape of characters? Those things? The part that actually mattered. Yes! That's the key. Maybe this "press" made printing a little bit easier. So what? It's like Elisha Otis taking credit for building the elevator when all he did was made it safer. Sure, no one would get into an elevator if there was a chance that they could die, but Otis made it safe. Did Otis create the elevator? No. He created the safety elevator. The "safety" is an integral part of the design but it was just a modification of the original invention. Just like the "press" is a modification of the printing press. The elevators in use today is the safety elevator. But no one says that Elisha Otis created the elevator. He just modified it. That's all.

So fast forward to the late 20th century when white people slowly realized that the metal-movable type was actually invented in East Asia; that printing was already in full gear; that the Koreans already had movable-metal type for hundreds of years. That the first known published printed book created by metal-movable type was invented in Korea in 1377, 78 years before Gutenberg's bible! That's 78 years. 78. It's called the Jikji. Ironically, the only surviving volume was taken (stolen) from Korea and is now housed at the Manuscrits Orientaux division of the National Library of France! Hah! In Europe! Okay. So, what do you do now? Europeans have already taken credit for printing the first book with movable type Gutenberg Bible. Forget the Jikji. That's hidden away in some dungeon in France. So, as to not lose face, they have to play semantics and argue that while the movable type was invented in China and Korea, the press was not. They'll give the printing thing to China and Korea but the very complicated "press" stays in Europe. Hence, whites created the printing press. Who cares about the movable type stuff, right? Those metal things only transferred the ink (created by the Chinese) to the paper (also created by the Chinese) for the reader to read. That's not important. It's the press. As long as whites can take credit for the press, the majority of the textbooks don't have to change. Thank you Europeans for the printing press. lol. I challenge anyone to go to Korea or China and ask a high school student who invented the printing press? They may give you slightly differing answers but there's one thing they will agree on - the Europeans certainly did not invent the printing press. Ducati748 (talk) 23:58, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Good grief. Historical fact does not depend on what a Korean or Chinese high school student says it is. Actually Gutenberg DID invent the printing press. Moveable type and the press are not the same thing. Also there's no evidence of transmission of movable type from Asia to Germany, which means that Gutenberg probably did invent movable type as well - independently and at later date from the Chinese/Korean invention. Your silly assertions that these inventions did not matter are barely worth replying to. There was no mass printing revolution in east Asia, whereas millions of books had been printed in the decades following Gutenberg's invention. Your cultural sensitivities are beside the point. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:17, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Please consult footnote 39 in the article: In the Far East, they did not know the printing press, since they did not know screw presses. In fact, they did not even know the screw until the Jesuit mission. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 14:41, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
@ Gun Powder Ma. You're assuming that a printing press must use a screw. Wrong.Ducati748 (talk) 12:25, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
@ Ducati: The Chinese still didn't invent the press. This really isn't cultural chauvinism. It's a desire to accurately portray what a press is. Repeatability, which is enabled by any form of engraving technology, isn't the only condition of having a printing press. Nor is moveable type. The press, itself, is what matters - i.e., a mechanism whereby the moveable type is inserted into a machine that repeatedly presses the type onto parchment. I have suggested adding Bi Sheng to this article, but in a subsection. This would give credit where credit is due, without propagating a historical error. Alexandergreenb (talk) 16:18, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Rather than critising the article you seem to be venting a grudge that you hold against the western world. You may find it hard to believe, but the efforts you put into debasing european history and your ambitions to exhalt your own strikes me as the only cultural bias here. I'd like to add that where I am from in The West, the education system emphasises dedicates a great deal of time to the study and achivements of other cultures, espousing a common global history and dispelling eurocentrism. Please take your anger elsewhere. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:39, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

More on the movable type/printing press debate

Since there's so much confusion about whether the Chinese invented the press, perhaps a section should be added to the article detailing that Bi Sheng invented movable type but not the printing press. The section could be called something like "Inaccurate Attribution of the Printing Press to Bi Sheng" Alexandergreenb (talk) 16:09, 13 September 2010 (UTC)


Just browsing wikipedia and came onto this page. Paragraph's 2,3 and 4 don't read well or make much sense - they seem very obviously to have been inserted in aid of Chinese cultural nationalism. Additionally, I think we should keep the history of movable type on the 'Movable type' page and the history specifically of the printing press on the 'Printing press' page. They are not the same thing. Vorpaul (talk) 07:13, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

It's been removed. As if it isn't bad enough that the role and significance of Far Eastern typography is overblown in the movable type article, some IPs want to start the same thing here, too. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 20:57, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

The vague definitions of printing press caused many controversials about Gutenberg

It is true that Gutenburg was the first inventer of the printing press. However, if we go with printing press, it can lead to wooden press, clay press and steel press. Wooden press is known to be invented in east asia. Evidnece shows that it may be invented in Korea, which is not totally sure. Also, steel press is invented in Korea, proven by the UNESCO. However, because of the Confucian society, the press was not used. I consider that inventions should be useful. Gutenberg's press gave a great wave of revolution. This is the reason why it is true that Gutenburg was the first inventer. Hogankiim (talk) 02:35, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

There's little evidence of the use of a press in East Asia. The printing process was achieved by laying the paper directly on the type - whether it be a block or moveable pieces - and applying pressure with a special brush. That's why Gutenberg's contribution should be split into several parts. Of course his original process was much slower than the developments in later centuries, but was faster than the eastern one. The article says a Gutenberg-style press could produce 3,600 pages/day compared with the 1,500-2,000/day that the Chinese managed.
But they certainly explored moveable type before the west, even though the payoff wasn't as great when one needed to represent tens of thousands of different characters. Chris55 (talk) 08:26, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Small correction: a Gutenberg-style press could produce 3,600 pages/day as compared to 40/day the Koreans managed at most, that is 90 times as much. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 22:10, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
I was talking about the Chinese not the Koreans. The reference for that is Tsien Tsuen-Hsuin p201 where there is a footnote saying some estimate 6-8,000/day which certainly seems high. Where do you get your 40 estimate from? I find it hard to imagine any skilled printer taking 15 minutes or more per sheet. We're not talking about the setting process. Chris55 (talk) 23:33, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
A reference to the unrelated Chinese printing in an article on the printing press is as superfluous as a reference to the unrelated Sumerian writing in an article on the Chinese script. In both cases post hoc does not mean propter hoc, and creating the impression of an exogenous influence contrary to all evidence would be both WP:OR and WP:SYN. Regards Gun Powder Ma (talk) 19:48, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Don't avoid the question, Ma. If you don't have any evidence for your assertion about the slowness of Korean printing then admit it. Your long words don't impress me. Chris55 (talk) 22:38, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
I gave my sources down to the page, but could you quote yours? What does Tsien Tsuen-Hsuin claim on p.201? Quote please. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 00:58, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Printing press and printing

My attempt to introduce a link to the printing article in the lead for this article has now been reverted four times. Yet a look at this discussion page and the history of the article shows that there is a large confusion over the lack of references to printing in the Far East, which is widely acknowledged to have preceded that in the west by 400-700 years. It seems to me that disruptive edits to the page will continue if there are no references to these earlier developments.

The point has been well established that the printing press wasn't used in the east. However to many people "printing press" and "printing" are treated as synonymous. Now it may be better to put a "see also" for printing as well as movable type at the head of the article. But it's hard to avoid the conclusion that certain people are in a state of denial about the development and widespread use of printing before Gutenberg. This POV isn't widely shared. Chris55 (talk) 09:46, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

I have reverted GPM (his last edit anyway), who turns up here and elsewhere every so often to remove all references to Asia, and usually start an edit war. That particular edit was going much too far, GPM - don't push your luck! I will ask User:DGG, who is a veteran of this situation, to keep an eye on the page also. Johnbod (talk) 13:08, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, Johnbod. I have since found that part of his campaign was to remove wholesale a number of contributions I had made to the History of printing in East Asia article, ignoring a discussion I had started on that page to change its name from History of typography in East Asia. I have now restored the material in that article, respecting the legitimate changes he had made as far as I can. I find his cavalier attitude disturbing. Chris55 (talk) 13:07, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Johnbod, spare us your predictable ad hominem attempts, you have long demonstrated being as partisan in this question as one can been. Stop making false claims about DGG's stance who actually above repeatedly and elaborately advocates keeping the unrelated Eastern typography out: here and here for example. There is no established link between Eastern hand-prining and Western printing press, and the article should exactly reflect this standard view. We have an introducing link in the lead and that should suffice. As for the rest of your edit, frankly I didn't understand the rationale behind it. Care to explain? Gun Powder Ma (talk) 19:29, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
GPM, are you claiming that there was no printing of any sort before Gutenberg? It seems so by you edits and if so, you should not be allowed to contribute to Wikipedia. You're also very selective in your reading. DGG also said "the Korean presses should be mentioned here as a separate tradition. There really are multiple traditions". Chris55 (talk) 00:10, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I see the words "printing" and "movable type" are linked in this article at present, so is this still an issue? I think the dead horse has been beaten into unrecognizable mush in regards to the fact that the printing press was solely the invention of Gutenberg who combined the idea of movable type with a reputable Greco-Roman device. I recently created a hidden link to "History of printing in East Asia" to replace a lame "Far East" link, so that should suffice. And to reiterate what has been said here a thousand times: at Wiki (and in academia for that matter) the Chinese are credited with the invention of movable type. However, the European utilization of the screw press created an entirely new machine altogether which was able to print documents at a significantly higher volume in a shorter span of time than the manual methods traditionally used in East Asia (whether woodblock or movable type). I don't see the harm in mentioning Bi Sheng here, the first inventor of movable type, but if that is done, it should be made perfectly clear that he or any other artisan in China did not create the device described at length in this article.--Pericles of AthensTalk 07:23, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Printing is linked because I reverted GPM's removal of it (for the 5th time). Thanks for improving the lead of History of printing in East Asia after his decimation of it. Actually printing has at least 4 components: page relief, paper, ink and means of impression. All of these were in use before Gutenberg. The grape press (used for binding) was standard and the movable bed wasn't introduced until about 1470. His original production rate was 300 pages/day. The Koreans had developed pretty much the same techniques for producing type and in the west those techniques were used for dies and seals. Gutenberg improved the typeface metal and ink, but actually used vellum for the Gutenberg bible before deciding to use paper.
So Gutenberg was like Richard Arkwright, James Watt or George Stephenson - the person who came at the right time and triggered an enormous revolution. Like those three he built on what came before - and I wouldn't minimise his achievement. But any Germanic attempt to suggest he did it all himself needs to be resisted. Chris55 (talk) 15:37, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I think the intro to History of printing in East Asia now sufficiently summarizes the main points of the article. And the 4 components of printing were obviously known before Gutenberg as you point out, otherwise we wouldn't be crediting the Chinese and Koreans with the creation of printing at all! I wasn't suggesting that. However, I don't understand your last two statements here: are you referring to Laurens Janszoon Coster as a possible co-inventor or sole inventor in Europe? Otherwise I can't interpret your statement in any other way than to suggest Gutenberg was directly influenced by Chinese movable type printing methods. There is no evidence for this, especially given the hazy level of detail available in regards to where Gutenberg got his ideas, the durability of his moulds in making type, etc. --Pericles of AthensTalk 17:07, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
As always, this discussion is getting hung up on printing text, and ignoring the non-text printing elements that were common and familiar in Europe already, such as presses, paper, blockprinting on cloth, printmaking in woodcut and engraving, as well as those used but less widely, such as divided engraving plates with repeating elements (Master of the Playing Cards) and Medieval letter tiles. Johnbod (talk) 17:18, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
There was just an edit conflict - I was going to say much of the same, so you've saved me the bother. My point is that people have the right to know these things too. The EB also refers to metallographic printing carried on from 1430 onwards by Coster, Gutenberg and others using lead. The story is more than usually obscure, but such arguments continue to today: look at the arguments about who created hypertext. Chris55 (talk) 18:35, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Edit request on 3 December 2011

According to the Wikepedia page, the first thing that was printed by the printing press was the Gutenburg Bible (1450s). However, the Jikji from Korea, was published in 1377, and that is 78 years prior from the Gutenburg Bible.

Xmicroby (talk) 16:09, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. See also WP:WINARS.   — Jeff G. ツ (talk) 16:17, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Printing press in Korea

I was reading about Korea after the death of Kim Jong Il... In the Korea article in the 3rd paragraph it says they Koreans invented the printing press in the 14th century, with their book Jikji, printed in 1377. I dunno who in fact is right, but there is a huge continuity hole since wikipedia gives both Gutenberg, and Korea credit. (talk) 01:12, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Neither Korea nor China invented "the press", they just developed a form of movable type which still required hand pressure. It's not the same thing, and even the movable type was invented independently in Europe and Asia (as there's no evidence of its transmission from one continent to another). The history speaks for itself: there was no mass printing revolution in Asia as there was in Europe. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:32, 1 January 2013 (UTC)