Historical Figures


Last updated:2022-07-25

Trained as a goldsmith, Gutenberg is known as the inventor of the printing press. After leaving Mainz in 1428, he settled in Strasbourg around 1434. He associated with several bourgeois and designed stone cutting and mirror manufacturing processes using an alloy of lead, tin and copper. enriched with antimony. This same alloy is used for the manufacture of the movable type necessary for his new project which he keeps secret:the reproduction of texts thanks to a typographic process.

Returning to Mainz in 1448, he perfected his invention before joining forces in 1450 with the wealthy banker Johann Fust, who provided him with the financing necessary for the realization of his project. He publishes the Bible to "forty-two lines" whose sale did not cover all the costs incurred, so that Fust sued him in 1455. At the end of the litigation, Gutenberg was divested of his invention by Fust. This one publishes the Psalter of Mainz two years later, in 1457.

Gutenberg was knighted ten years later by the Archbishop of Mainz, who granted him an annual pension. He died in Mainz on February 3, 1468.

Between 1397 and 1400 - 1468



Inventor of the printing press

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