How the Printing Press Helped in Shaping the Future

Carla Adams

Since the start of 21st century, technology has been developing at a really fast pace. Every year there is a new invention and an upgrade in the old ones. This continuous progress has been of incredible help to mankind. A lot of painstakingly long tasks are now done by machines in a fraction of the time as compared to manual labor.

Most of these technologies can be linked back to the industrial revolution in the 18th century. People shifted from their traditional yarning methods to machines and from that onward, machines have been consistently gone through drastic transformations.

The case for printing press is rather different as it was invented more than 500 years ago. Prior to that, printing blocks were used to print imagery on clothes, which dates back to 200 AD. This method was used in China and a similar method in use by the Indians in the 4th century AD. The modern printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century, which then helped in mass production of books and consequently in the spreading of knowledge. It helped create a more uniform language and made the prices of books become considerably lower and more affordable for the masses. This process was the basis of further human advancement. Let’s look at the some of the things that have transformed the world through printing press.

Minimized Errors

Before the printing press, monks were in charge of copying and approving the writer’s work. This meant that there was a huge margin of human error. This would affect the outcome of the books a lot and made the written content inaccurate to a high degree. Printing press minimized that error and reduced it to the lowest possibility.  This meant that the information provided in the books could be trusted and cited as a reference when needed.


The press gave birth to facts and ideas which meant that a writer could publish his work more freely. A researcher could print and publicize his finding and make it available to people to learn from. This also gave rise to multiple protection rights that we have today. Copyright content, plagiarism and intellectual property rights were established to protect the writers of any content or creative works. These rights to this date continue to be implemented and take artists, creators and writers under their protection.  Due to the availability of more books and the writer’s work being defended by laws, people educated themselves with the provided knowledge and thus became more civilized as a result. This newfound knowledge also helped the schooling system improve.

More Collaboration

As previously mentioned, books became free of human error. This resulted in scientists and researchers collaborating on their findings and proving their hypothesis either to be factually correct or wrong. This process led to the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment which changed the face of Europe and the way they subsequently impacted the world.

Industrial revolution

Just in the middle of the Industrial Revolution, the mechanical printing press was invented. This invention could print thousands of pages on an hourly basis.  The machine was powered by steam, just like the steam engine, steam boats and many other machines belonging to that era. This made a lot of impact on the speed of the news. Newspaper printing was done at fast pace and latest gossips and happenings started reaching people a lot quicker. Any new information could be made available for people within a matter of days of its occurrence. Now the techniques have been improved even further and newspapers are printed daily. Now the printing method is not just relegated to only the printing presses, but can also be done at home. The printing press was the basis on which technological marvels of the current world were developed of which the most prominent one that morphed out was the 3d Printing industry which has impacted the construction, medical and equipment industry heavily.

Economic effect

People got more educated and were able to apply their new found knowledge due to the availability of books. The cities became the epicenters of knowledge, wealth and business. All these business flourished due to the newly provided information and reduced prices of books. Not only the cities were benefitting with abundant business opportunities but almanacs were published to let the farmers help with their farming.  These farmers could coordinate better with more reliable almanacs and hence their methods became more profitable.

Printing press no doubt has changed the world and made it a lot more informed. It has played its part in the world’s economic, technological and informational growth. It is certainly not an understatement when the invention of the first printing press is compared with the industrial revolution. Printing press has surely made an impact in our lives and will continue to do so.