The result was the creation of what was later called the Gutenberg Press, essentially a precursor to the modern printing press. His invention ushered in a new era of printing which directly aided in the greater availability of different books and texts.
When Gutenberg set to work on his vision of a faster printing method, a traditional way of printing books was already available. Called the block printing method, this method was very slow.
Gutenberg innovated this method by first creating a special type by using lead, tin, and antimony in an alloy. This type offered a far more durable print than previously available types.
Gutenberg also invented a special matrix that enabled the operator of the press to quickly rearrange the letters on the template and get them to print. This matrix made it possible for the new press created by Gutenberg to significantly speed up the printing process.
Another exceptional achievement of Gutenberg in creating the press was the use of new oil-based ink, as opposed to the water-based ink which was previously used. Oil-based ink was more durable and offered a more solid and clear print.
Europe was on the verge of discovering its rich Greek and Roman heritage at the time when the Gutenberg Press was invented. The Press revolutionized the printing of books and spurred on a movement that would make the printed book no longer a luxury of the intellectual circles and the nobility but a regular part of a common man’s life.
Over time, all this contributed to the widespread proliferation of Renaissance ideas, and a resurgence of scientific thought and literary activities throughout Europe.
The Renaissance in Europe was marked by the widespread proliferation of classical Roman and Greek texts. Until the invention of the Gutenberg Press, such texts were typically available only to the rich nobility who owned the rare copies in their personal collections.
Such democratization of knowledge led to a flowering of new ideas. In time, these would lead to the establishment of democracy, the articulation of humane principles emphasizing equality, and a flurry of intellectual activities throughout the Continent.