Start Date
Place
Notes
Source
0100 BCE
International
First Century BCE - The book changes its format
from a scroll to a collection of pages, a codex.
Scroll becomes finally abandoned, except for
ceremonial or religious purposes, by 400 CE.
http://www.ciolek.com/GLOBAL/early.html
August 2010
0055 BCE
Roman Empire
Julius Caesar is the first known person to fold a
papyrus scroll into codex-shaped pages, for
dispatches to his troops
http://www.ciolek.com/GLOBAL/early.html#1
st century BCE January 2010
0079
Roman Empire
A codex (Latin for block of wood book; plural
codices) is a book in the format used for modern
books, with separate pages normally bound
together and given a cover. It was a Roman
invention that replaced the scroll, which was the
first form of book in all Eurasian cultures.
Although technically any modern paperback is a
codex, the term is used only for manuscript (hand-
written) books, produced from Late Antiquity
through the Middle Ages.
http://www.mkbergman.com/temp-exhibit/
September 2010
0618
China
T’ang Dynasty - the first printing is done in China
using ink on carved wooden blocks begins to
make multiple transfers of an image to paper.
[618-906 CE]
http://inventors.about.com/od/pstartinventions
/a/printing_3.htm January 2011
0750
Japan
The first known block printing [xylograph] was
used to produce a Buddhist charm, Japan.
http://www.ciolek.com/GLOBAL/early.html
August 2010
11 May 0868
China
The earliest explicitly dated xylographic [block
carved with characters] book printed on paper in
China, is a Buddhist text Diamond Sutra. The
book contains a colophon stating "made for
universal free distribution by Wang Jie on behalf
of his two parents on the 13th of the 4th moon of
the 9th year of Xiantong [i.e. 11th May, AD 868]".
http://www.ciolek.com/GLOBAL/early.html
August 2010
0932
China
Rise of The Book: The first known book, The
Diamond Sutra, a collection of Buddhist classics
in 130 volumes, was made at the initiative of
Fong Tao, a Chinese minister.
http://www.chinaprintingsolutions.com/chinap
rintinghistory.htm January 2011
1041
China
Sometime between 1041 and 1048, Bi Sheng,
an obscure commoner in China, invents movable
(made from fired clay) type.
http://www.ciolek.com/GLOBAL/1000.html#1
000s August 2010
1043
Korea
Collection of Buddhist Scriptures, the Tripitaka,
was printed in Korea using movable metal fonts.
http://www.ciolek.com/GLOBAL/1000.html#1
000s August 2010
1313
China
Wang Chen, in China, develops new printing
techniques and has over 60,000 Chinese
characters made from hardwood at his disposal;
using these, he prints his Treatise of agriculture.
http://www.ciolek.com/GLOBAL/1000.html#1
000s August 2010
1392
Korea
Foundries that can produce bronze type are
opened in Korea.
http://inventors.about.com/od/pstartinventions
/a/printing_3.htm January 2011
1400
Germany
Johann Gutenberg (Johannes Gensfleisch zur
Laden zum Gutenberg d.1468), was born in
Mainz. He was the inventor of movable, metal
type, a stamping mold for casting type, the alloy
of lead, tin, and antimony for the cast letters, the
printing press itself, and a printing ink with an oil
base. The first books were printed around 1450
on rag paper.
http://timelines.ws August 2009
1423
Europe
From a single prolonged expedition to
Constantinople thirty years before its fall in 1453,
the Sicilian manuscript dealer and collector
Giovanni Aurispa brought back no fewer than
238 Greek manuscripts, introducing weterners
for the first time to major texts of drama from
Aeschylus, Sophocles, and hitherto unknown
philosophical works of Plato.
MacCullough, Reformation, P. 78
1423
Europe
In Europe block printing is used to print books.
http://inventors.about.com/od/pstartinventions
/a/printing_3.htm January 2011
1450
Germany
Johannes Gutenberg began printing a bible with
movable type in Mainz. He perfected
interchangeable type that could be cast in large
quantities and invented a new type of press.
http://timelines.ws September 2009
1452
Europe
In Europe, metal plates are first used in printing.
Gutenberg begins printing the Bible which he
finishes in 1456.
http://inventors.about.com/od/pstartinventions
/a/printing_3.htm January 2011
23 Feb 1455
Germany
Johannes Gutenberg (Johan Gensfleisch, c1400-
1468) printed his first book, the Bible. Gutenberg
printed Latin Bibles of which 11 were still extant
in 1987.
http://timelines.ws March 2009
1457
Germany
First color printing by Fust and Schoeffer.
http://inventors.about.com/od/pstartinventions
/a/printing_3.htm January 2011
1457
Germany
The first book, the Mainz Psalter, printed using
coloured ink.
http://www.ciolek.com/GLOBAL/1000.html#1
000s August 2010
14 Aug 1457
Germany
Gutenberg's financier Johann Fust and
calligrapher Peter Schoffer published the 2nd
printed book. This is the oldest known exactly
dated printed book.
http://timelines.ws March 2007
1465
Germany
Drypoint engravings invented by Germans.
http://inventors.about.com/od/pstartinventions
/a/printing_3.htm January 2011
1469
Germany
Bookbinding, the first time the roller or roulette
appeared in German binderies.
http://www.xs4all.nl/~knops/timetab.html
November 2010
1473
Germany
The earliest known book of printed music is a
German gradual done in double impression,
probably in 1473.
Harvard Dictionary of Music
1476
England
The first edition of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
(1387-1400) was printed by William Caxton. A
copy of the red, leather-bound edition sold at
auction in 1998 for $7.5 million. In 1905 the
Caxton Club in Chicago published the leaf book
“William Caxton” by E. Gordon Duff. Each book
contained one of 148 leaves from a Caxton 1st
edition of the Canterbury Tales. [1476-77]
http://timelines.ws May 2008
1477
Belgium
Intaglio is first used for book illustration for a
Flemish book called Il Monte Sancto di Dio.
http://inventors.about.com/od/pstartinventions
/a/printing_3.htm January 2011
18 Nov 1477
England
William Claxton published the first dated book
printed in England. "Dictes & Sayengis of the
Phylosophers," by Earl Rivers. It was a translation
from the French.
http://timelines.ws April 2007
1498
Italy
Movable type to represent music notes invented
by Ottaviano Petrucci of Venice.
http://www.ciolek.com/GLOBAL/1000.html#1
000s August 2010
1498
Italy
Ottaviano dei Petrucci (1466-?) printer of Venice
invents the method of printing music with
movable type.
http://www.magicdragon.com/UltimateSF/tim
eline15.html December 2010
18 Feb 1499
France
The first illustration of a printing press and
printing office in a printed book appears in La
grât danse macabre, published in Lyons by
Mathias Huss. The image shows death visiting a
printing office and a bookseller's shop.
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline
August 2008
1507
Scotland
Printing came to Scotland in 1507. James IV is
widely acknowledged as being responsible for
introducing printing in Scotland in 1507 after the
Bishop of Aberdeen, wanting a breviary
published, persuaded him to grant a charter
allowing the establishment of a printing press in
Scotland. The first printers in Scotland were
Chepman and Myllar who in 1507 began printing
from the South Gait (now the Cowgate) in
Edinburgh. The first book issued from their
presses was the Bible in 1507/08. Printing slowly
spread from Edinburgh to other centres in
Scotland: first in St Andrews in 1522, then Stirling
in 1571, Aberdeen in 1622, Glasgow in 1638
and Leith in 1651.
http://www.sapphire.ac.uk/printinghistory.htm
May 2011
1516
Italy
Music printed from engraved plates was used for
the first time in Italy.
http://timelines.ws September 2006
1550
Europe
Wallpaper introduced in Europe..
http://inventors.about.com/od/pstartinventions
/a/printing_3.htm January 2011
1620
Netherlands
In 1620, an Amsterdam printer, Willem Janszoon
Blaeu, had added a counterweight to his
[printing] machine, which casued the platen to
rise automatically after each impression; this
simple adjustment increased the printer's
productivity enormously, conceivably doubling the
printing capacity of Europe.
Smith, Newspaper, P. 23
1660
Germany
Mezzotint invented in Germany.
http://inventors.about.com/od/pstartinventions
/a/printing_3.htm January 2011
1702
Germany
Multi-colored engraving invented by German
Jakob Le Blon.
http://inventors.about.com/od/pstartinventions
/a/printing_3.htm January 2011
28 Jan 1706
England
John Baskerville, typographer and inventor of the
"hot-pressing" method of printing, was born.
http://timelines.ws April 2007
1714
UK
The concept of a typewriter dates back at least to
1714, when Englishman Henry Mill filed a vaguely-
worded patent for "an artificial machine or method
for the impressing or transcribing of letters singly
or progressively one after another."
http://staff.xu.edu/polt/typewriters/tw-
history.html October 2010
1725
UK
In Scotland stereotyping invented by William
Ged.
http://inventors.about.com/od/pstartinventions
/a/printing_3.htm January 2011
16 Feb 1740
Italy
Giambattista Bodoni, printer, typeface designer
(Bodoni), was born in Saluzzo, Italy.
http://timelines.ws April 2007
1763
India
The "Jnaneshvari" manuscript, a commentary on
the Bhagavad Gita, was completed. In this period
Hindu books began to vie with Muslim texts in the
perfection of their paper, calligraphy, illustration
and binding.
http://timelines.ws April 2007
1764
France
Pierre Fournier of France develops the point
system to measure type sizes. His system is
further refined by Francois Didot establishing
consistency in type measure throughout the
world.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0154485.ht
ml January 2011
1800
International
Iron press permits printing on large sheets of
paper, thicker fonts.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu July 2007
1803
UK
Earl Stanhope introduced the first hand press
with an iron frame. It was stronger and more
efficient than a wooden press and rapidly
replaced it. The Columbian and Albion were two
other iron presses used in the early 19th century.
http://www.theoldprintingshop.com/history/
May 2011
1810
UK
In London, Friedrich Koenigh uses steam power
to operate a printing press. His system involves
rolling a cylinder over paper that lies on top of
inked type. Koenigh's method signals the end of
the flat-hand press.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0154485.ht
ml January 2011
1810
UK
Steam power was successfully applied to the
printing press in 1810 by Friedrich Koenig, a
German, in London.
New Columbia Encyclopedia
1829
US
A Fourdrinier machine was introduced and
completed in 1829 at Beach Mill, Saugerties,
New York. It was estimated to have cost $30.000.
Innis, Bias, P. 159
1884
Germany
Ottmar Mergenthaler (1854-1899) of Germany
invented the Linotype machine that produced
newspaper type and was used until it was
replaced by computers.
http://timelines.ws March 2007
1947
France
Two Frenchmen, Rene Alphonse Higonnet and
Louis Marius Moyroud, developed a successful
phototypesetter that used a strobe light and a
series of optics to project characters from a
spinning disk onto photographic paper.
http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bl
phototypesetting.htm January 2011
1970
US
Xerox invents electrostatic printing, breakthrough
technology which transfers images using an
electrostatic charge and toner-instead of ink and
pressure-and enables the seamless rendering of
digital documents onto paper.
http://www.xerox.com/about-xerox/history-
timeline/1970-decade/enus.html January
2011
Book and Printing Technology Timeline
Created with Timeline Maker Professional. Produced on 25 Feb 2012.