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Johannes Gutenberg's innovation spread throughout Europe and beyond.
The monopolistic controls that were held over Europe's economic and social life for centuries were broken, making Gutenberg a Hero of Progress.
He was a 15th-century German goldsmith and inventor and is known for creating the first metal movable-type printing press.
Gutenberg's inventions included a process for mass-producing movable type, the use of oil-based ink for printing books, and adjustable molds.
In 1459, Gutenberg opened a small printing shop in Bamberg (Bavaria), where he continued printing the Bible.
Six years later, Prince Archbishop of Mainz recognized Gutenberg's accomplishments and named him a gentleman of the court - meaning he could live on the court's large annual stipend.
Gutenberg had two presses, one for lucrative commercial texts, the other solely for printing the Bible.
In 1455, Fust (his moneylender) accused Gutenberg of misallocation of funds, sued Gutenberg, and demanded his money back. Fust won and took possession of the printing workshop and half of all the printed Bibles, leaving Gutenberg bankrupt.
Johannes Gutenberg's ideas started a printing revolution, as they accelerated the spread of information.
The printing press was used to fuel the later part of the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution, making possible the start of the Industrial Revolution.
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