The Printing Press
I believe the most important invention to date was made in the Middle Ages by a goldsmith in the German town of Mainz, Johannes Gutenberg. The Gutenberg printing press was invented in 1436 using wooden and later movable type and this has remained the standard for developing printing presses till this day. With this momentous invention, the dissemination of information and the distribution of literature was facilitated aiding the acceleration of the Age of Reformation and the explosion of science in the consequent Enlightenment Era. It is no coincidence that the first book in print was the Gutenberg Bible; making Christianity was the most widely debated religion in the late Middle Ages due to the ease with which printed information was accessible to the general public. The advent of print type however, more significantly fostered the drive for wideranging public literacy (which had previously been the preserve of the Church, its officials and nobility) among the general public resulting in a greater public awareness and culminating in the clamour for class equalization, manifest most significantly in the American and French Revolutions. In fact, the arrival of the printing press to the burgeoning USA in the 18th Century coincides with the era of the War of Independence. In all, one can conclude that the arrival of the printing press has resulted in the birth of the Age in which we live in presently, where the diverse peoples of the world can communicate better, trade more efficiently and exchange information rapidly.
Submitted by: Kehinde Latunde-Dada