- He was born into a wealthy patrician merchant family between 1394 and 1404 in the city of Mainz. He grew up learning the trade of goldsmithing.
- In 1411, the Gutenbergs were exiled after an uprising against the patrician class.
- He ended up living in Strasbourg, where he was a goldsmith and a member of the Strasbourg militia.
- He created metal hand mirrors that pilgrims bought and used when visiting holy sites.
- In 1440, Gutenberg supposedly declared he had perfected the art of printing.
- In 1448, Gutenberg moved back to Mainz, and with a loan from his brother-in-law, he built an operating printing press in 1450.
- With a working press, Gutenberg got a wealthy moneylender, Johann Fust, to lend him more capital to fund further refinement of the printing process.
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