Johann Gutenberg

1398?-1468. Regarded as the inventor of printing in Europe. Born in Mainz, he moved to Strasbourg in the 1430s. Evidence given by witnesses in a lawsuit there seems to indicate he had constructed a printing press with movable type, although there are no printed specimens to support the claim. Having returned to Mainz by 1448, he borrowed money from Johann Fust who later became his partner. In 1455 Fust foreclosed on his loans and took over the printing operation in association with Peter Schoeffer. Although their appearance postdates this foreclosure, Gutenberg probably played an important part in the production of the 42-line Bible (the “Gutenberg Bible”) which appeared in 1456 and is frequently considered to be the first book printed in Europe, and in the production of the Psalter of 1457 which apparently was the first dated book to appear in print in Europe.