n AD 175, a Chinese Emperor commanded that the six main classics of confusious be carved in stone for posterity. That was done. Simultaneously, many who desired to own these classics rubbed charcoal on the engraved stone and took impressions. Another new idea was born. In AD 768, in devoutly Buddhist Nara, the Emperor commissioned a huge edition of Lucky Charms (prayers) be reproduced with wood cut types.


The earliest known printed book is in Chinese were discovered in a cave. Interestingly, the Chinese printers cast these characters in clay and then fired them as in pottery. The substance was too fragile for the purpose of hard press. Then in C. 1380, in the late 14th century the Koreans came up with bronze typesets. By one of the strange coincidences of history, this is precisely the decade in which Guttenberg was experimenting with movable types far away in Germany. Later in the 15th century, technical advances were made in Germany which rapidly transformed printing from a cottage Industry to a center stage of Western civilization. The name of Guttenburg first appeared in connection with printing in a law case in Strausburg in 1439. It appears, he was already capable of printing small items of text from movable types and it seems he did it in Strausburg. Significant are Guttenberg's skills with metal (his earlier trade was that of a goldsmith).These enabled him to produce individual pieces of types, which involve creating a mastermould of each letter, from which multiple versions can be made with a suitable alloy.

'They Vulgate', a full-length Bible printed in Latin is a bold experiment in black letter manuscripts. No date appears in Guttenberg's Bible (a 42 - lined Bible) printed in the 1450s. Black prints with red hand coloured pages were available for sale. The first dated book from these presses came in 1457 known as the Mainz Psalter. It achieves two colour initial letter prints. The first Italian Press was founded in 1464. But Germany leads the way to the world and the East awaits its technology. Ideas always belonged to the East but technology came from Europe.