Monday, April 24, 2017

A Timeline Of The History of Printing

YEAR             EVENT

3100 BC          Cuneiform, one of the earliest known writing systems was developed in Sumer (modern day Iraq). Wedge-shaped marks were made on clay tablets by a blunt stylus cut from a reed.

3000                Papyrus plant, paper-like material used as a writing surface in Egypt.  Ink from lamp-black made in China.

500                  Amate, a beaten paper-like material, made in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Parchment, a material made from processed animal skin, used as a writing surface in Pergamon (Anatolian Greece, Asia Minor, now Turkey).

100                  Paper invented in China by monks. Codex book form emerges in the Roman Empire. Coptic binding in Egypt.

200                  Woodblock printing in China.

868                  The oldest dated printed text known:  The Diamond Sutra, a Chinese translation of a Buddhist text now preserved in the British Library.

932                  Chinese printers adapt Wood-block printing to mass produce classical books.

1041                Movable type invented in China.

1282                Watermarks first used in Italian-made paper.

1309                Paper first used in England.

1377                World’s oldest extant book printed with movable metal type Baekun Hwasang Chorok Buljo Jikji Simche Yojeol published in Cheungju Korea, now at the Bibliotheque Nationale.

1438-44           Adjustable type mold developed by Johannes Guttenberg in Mainz (Germany)

1454                First dated European document:  a papal indulgence attributed to Gutenberg.

1455                Gutenberg’s Bible completed by his creditor Johann Fust and his own workman Peter Schoeffer.

1462                Fust and Schoeffer first to use a printer’s mark.

1539                Juan Pablos (Giovanni Paoli) became the first printer in North America (Mexico City).

1563                Printing in France forbidden without royal permission under penalty of death.

1584                The University Press at Cambridge begins operation, and has done so continuously since.  It lays claim to being both the world’s oldest university press in and the oldest printing and publishing house.

1600                Spain outlaws papermaking in its New World colonies.

1611                Publication of the first edition of the King James Bible.

1655                The London Gazette, first regularly published English newspaper.

1690                Papermaking in America (Philadelphia).

1710                Statue of Anne regulates copyright in Great Britain.

1731                Poor Richard’s Almanac, published by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1735                Publisher John Peter Zenger acquitted of libel in colonial New York City, setting the legal standard.

1755                A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson.

1768                Encyclopedia Britannica is published.

1775                Common Sense by Thomas Paine is released.

1810                Composition ink rollers developed in London to replace ink balls.  The History of Printing in America by Isaiah Thomas.

1825                Typographia ty Thomas Curson Hansard is published.  Louis John Pouchée, a London type founder, produces ornamented types now regarded among the best of their kind.

1830                Paperback books appear in England and Ireland.

1839                Practical photography developed.

1851                Paper made from wood pulp.

1866                American Printer.  A Manual of Typography by Thomas MacKellar is published.

1875                Mimeograph invented by Thomas Edison.

1884                Grolier Club, a bibliophilic organization, founded in New York

1886                Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.  Historic Printing Types by Theodore Low Devinne.

1892                Biliographical Society (of London) founded.

1904                The Bibliographical Society of America established.

1905                The Society of Printers established in Boston.

1919                The Newberry Library establishes the John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing.
1927                Society of Typographic Arts founded in Chicago.

1937                The American Imprint Inventory begins under Douglas C. McMurtrie a Depression-era section the Historical Records Survey to identify and catalogue US imprints produced before 1800 (1890 west of the Mississippi). Suspended in 1942.

1943                Papermaking:  The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft by Dard Hunter is published.

1946                Bookbinding, Its Background and Technique by Edith Diehl is published.

1955                Printing for Pleasure by John Ryder, it popularized the amateur and fine press movement after World War II.

1957                Association Typographique Internationale (A TypI).

1964                Printing Historical Society founded in London.

1971                Project Gutenberg, oldest digital library of public domain books launched.

1974                American Printing History Association founded.  The Center for Book Arts founded in New York, the first not-for-profit organization of its kind in the United States.

1983                Desktop publishing appears.

1985                Minnesota Center for Book Arts opens in Minneapolis.

1991                World Wide Web is launched.

1995       founded.

1996                Fine Press Book Association founded.

1999                Blogger online self-publishing app launches.

2001                Wikipedia, a free, online collaborative encyclopedia, is launched.

2004                Facebook social network launched.

2006                Twitter social networking service launched.  It allows users to send and read 140-character messages called “tweets.”

2007                Kindle e-reader developed by

2008                College Book Art Association is formed, professionalizing book art education, supporting academic book artists and students, setting standards, and promoting the field.

2009                Nook e-reader developed by Barnes & Noble.

2010                Apple iPad tablet introduced.

2012                London Centre for Book Arts opens.

Note: Excerpted from The Printing History Association 

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby

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