What Ever Happened to Gutenberg?


Whatever happened to Gutenberg? We all know that the story begins with the Gutenberg bible. As history has it, Gutenberg was not the inventor of printing, movable type, or even the ink that he used to create the printing. He was very much known for being the first to collectively use all this equipment, with the proper techniques, to successfully create his own version of the bible. He credited it to himself, calling it the Gutenberg bible. The bible was famous for its columns that consisted of 42 lines, in which each page was hand decorated with illustrations. The entire process took him 2 years to produce such a book.

Gutenberg was not only known for his bible, but also for his financial problems which led to a lawsuit by his landlord, Fust. It was said that his son-in-law, Peter Schoeffer, helped Fust testify against Gutenberg in court. Unfortunately, Gutenberg lost the lawsuit, which led to the seizing of his studio including all of his equipment, property, and books. Gutenberg had another book that he had completed in addition to the bible, the Psalter. This book of psalms was given to Fust as part of the settlement.

 So the question is: “What happened to Gutenberg?” After such a great loss, it was said that Gutenberg was able to set up shop once again at another studio, in which he continued printing. However, in 1462, Archbishop Adolph II took control of the city of Mainz, Germany. With the change of leadership in Mainz,many people who were in the printing business, or even just a typographer, were a forced to flee the city to other parts of Germany and Europe. As a result, Gutenberg and even Fust’s printing businesses were destroyed.

 After such a tragedy, Gutenberg was once again lost his business. In 1465, he was given the title of a gentleman of the court by the Archbishop, which supplied him with a salary that he used to continue his publishing as a hobby. To this day, there is no evidence of his printing afterward because his name cannot be found on any published works of that time. Three years later, in February of 1468, it is said that Gutenberg died. He lived his final month blind and it is rumored that he was buried in a church of the Franciscan convent near the town of Eltville, Germany.



“Johannes Gutenberg Biography.” Bio.com. Ed. Biography.com Editors. A&E Networks Television, 15 Oct. 15. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.


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