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Inventions in Media: The Catalyst to Reform

Advances in communication via media helped shape and rocket the direction of reform. Inventions such as the printing press made it easier for reformers ideas to become available on a broader scale. Their voices now in print could be heard more loudly than ever before, a primary example of this is the case of Martin Luther and the 95 Theses.

Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

Books printed on presses before the year 1501 are called incunabula, which comes from a word meaning "cradle" or "birthplace" in Latin. Although printing was certainly in its infancy prior to 1501, the actual printing process of using movable type on a wooden press did not change a great deal over the next 350 years. There were, however, changes made to the format of books, such as the addition of title pages where medieval scribes simply added their own name, the date of completion, and perhaps a small prayer to the end of their manuscripts. Also, by the beginning of the 16th century, page numbers had made their appearance.

Johannes Gutenberg

Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (c. 1398 – c. February 3, 1468) was a German goldsmith and inventor who achieved fame for his invention of the technology of printing with movable types during 1447. This technology included a type metal alloy and oil-based inks, a mould for casting type accurately, and a new kind of printing press based on presses used in wine-making in the Rhineland.

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