It’s important to first define what the term “technology” means.
Technology is “the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry.” (Oxford Dictionary, n.d.)
The term is not reserved for computing systems, but for any field of engineering or applied sciences.
The printing press has been one of the most important inventions in history and would definitely classify as being within the top few technological enhancements of all time.
The printing press affected society in many crucially important ways; but none more so than by providing the ability to rapidly share vast amounts of information and make knowledge more readily available to a much greater audience around the world.
From sharing literature in the form of books to news in newspapers and much more, the printing press started a revolution that has become paramount to how we share data and intelligence, not only at the time, but for countless generations to come. Creating a perpetuity of wisdom that can be passed down indefinitely.
The adoption and impact on society was almost immediately noticeable from its inception by it’s innovator, Johannes Gutenberg in the 1440’s (Elizabeth Palermo, 2014). The German goldsmith enabled the mass production of books and written artefacts throughout Europe.
However, the original creation and invention of similar technology started much earlier in history when Chinese monks were first setting ink to paper using a method known as “block printing” approximately 600 years before Gutenberg. (The Invention of Block Printing, n.d.)
One of the earliest known books was first made in 868 by Buddhists. Almost a thousand years later it was found and is now housed in the British Library in London.
Being able to make full copies of entire pages changed societal knowledge sharing and general exchanges of information to the point that even paper money was born off the back of it. (Steven Kreis, 2000)
The printing press has still to this day affected virtually every person on earth.
The benefits have been and continue to be absolutely immense.
From libraries housing countless amount of books, to every restaurant’s menus, to advertising, magazines and even decorative patterns on materials of all kinds following similar techniques learnt through further experiments in printing.
All forms of groups have been affected by this revolution because without it, the world would have been noticeably much slower paced, with every titbit of information needing to be re-written by hand each and every time; leaving room for human errors and a potential loss in interpretation over time.
Definition of technology (2017) – Available from: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/technology (Accessed on 19th August 2017)
Elizabeth Palermo – Who Invented the Printing Press? (2017) – Available from: https://www.livescience.com/43639-who-invented-the-printing-press.html (Accessed on 19th August 2017)
Steven Kreis – The Printing Press (2000) – Available from: http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/press.html (Accessed on 18th August 2017)
History of Chinese Invention – The Invention of Block Printing (n.d.) – Available from: http://www.computersmiths.com/chineseinvention/blockprint.htm (Accessed on 18th August 2017)