Calendar of Cool: Gutenberg Bible Printed

On March 22 the 1455 the Gutenberg Bible was printed. Johannes Gutenberg invented the first practical printing press, changing the world forever. Up until that time, books had to be handwritten, and were painstakingly copied out by monks. This made books rare and expensive, meaning they were only available to large libraries and to the wealthy.


Gutenberg’s press ushered in a new era of information and literacy. After a few trials with grammar books, Gutenberg began his greatest project, the printing of the Bible. For some of the volumes he used parchment made of calfskin; for others, imported Italian vellum paper. Each copy consisted of nearly 1,300 pages and measured approximately 16 by 12 inches (400 x 300 mm).


Originally the property of the monasteries, there are only three perfect copies left, one of which is housed in the U.S. Library of Congress. They are the most valuable books in the world. The use of the printing press spread throughout Europe and the world, and allowed for ideas to spread faster than ever before.


A book that announced a whole new way to communicate your ideas to the world? Incredibly cool!