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History of Printing Timeline

History of Printing Timeline


Circa 3100 BCE - Cuneiform is used for the first time in what is now Iraq (it was then known as Sumer). It is one of the earliest recorded writing systems in history.

Circa 500 - Mesoamericans make a paper-like material known as amate.

Circa 200 - Parchment made from animal skins is used for the first time in Pergamon (or Pergamum), an area now known as Turkey.

105 CE - In China, during the Han Dynasty, a palace advisor creates a papermaking process.

794 - Establishment of a paper mill in Baghdad during the Abbasid Dynasty.

932 - The first mass-produced books are made after Chinese printers determine how to use woodblock printing in bookmaking.

1041 - Movable type is invented in China using baked clay.

1151 - First European paper mill is founded in Spain.

1282 - Italian papermakers use watermarks for the first time.

1298 - European explorer Marco Polo sees paper money being produced while visiting China.

1309 - The first use of paper in England.

1438-1444 - German printer Johannes Gutenberg developers adjustable type mold.

1455 - Johann Faust, Gutenberg's creditor, along with Peter Schoeffer finish Gutenberg's Bible.

1478 - Oxford University in England begins printing books.

1493 - The first book containing both text and illustrations printed.

1495 - First paper mill opens in England.

1501 - Italic type developed in Venice.

1530 - Parisian printer Claude Garamond designs a Roman font.

1539 - The first printer in North America, Juan Pablos, begins working in Mexico City.

1569 - Mercator's world map is printed.

1584 - The University Press at Cambridge is founded. Today, they claim to be the oldest functioning university press and publishing house.

circa 1600 - Spain forbids any papermaking activity in its colonies.

1611 - King James Bible published for the first time.

1665 - The first regularly printed English newspaper, The Oxford Gazette, is founded.

1690 - A paper mill opens in Philadelphia, and the first newspaper in the Americas is published in Boston.

1702 - The first daily newspaper is printed in England.

1728 - Stereotype printing plates are invented.

1750 - John Baskerville creates the typeface named for him in England.

1768 - The Encyclopedia Britannica is first published.

1775 - The first graphic novel is printed in Japan.

1780 - In France, François-Ambroise Didot creates a typographic point system based on the French inch.

1790 - A cylindrical printing press is patented in London by William Nicholson.

1786 - Philadelphia printers successfully strike for better wages.

1803 - The Third Earl of Stanhope develops an all-iron hand press.

1805 - Carbon paper is developed.

1814 - A steam-powered printing press is built for The Times newspaper in England.

1816 - William Caslon IV develops a sans-serif font.

1820s - The process for photoengraving is invented.

1824 - Cloth-bound books are first sold in London.

1826 - In Toronto, paper is made for the first time from recycled rags.

1829 - Louis Braille develops tactile font for use by the visually impaired.

1830s - Paperback books enter the market.

1838 - Moritz von Jacobi invents electrotype plates. In the United States, David Bruce Jr. develops a workable type casting machine.

1843 - Rotary letterpress invented.

1850 - The founding of the New York Printers' Union.

1851 - Paper is made from wood pulp for the first time.

1856 - A paper folding machine is invented.

1866 - Thomas MacKellar releases American Printer. A Manual of Typography.

1875 - Thomas Edison invents the mimeograph.

1879 - The process for producing color images and drawings in newspapers is developed.

1881 - Frederic Ives patents the halftone process.

1886 - The first automatic typesetting machine, known as the linotype, is released. The New York Times becomes the first paper to use the process.

1887 - Tolbert Lanston patents a hot metal typesetting machine, known as the monotype, that was made up of both a keyboard and a caster that could compose and cast type at the same time.

1892 - The four-color rotary press is first used.

1906 - The Eagle Printing Ink Company develops a four-color wet ink process known as CMYK.

1923 - The ditto machine is released.

1927 - Futura, a sans-serif typeface, is developed by Paul Renner.

1928 - Eric Gill designs Gill Sans, a sans-serif font.

1932 - In London, The Times newspaper used Times New Roman for the first time.

1938 - Photocopying, known as xerography, is invented by Chester S. Carlson in New York.

1949 - Phototypesetting is invented.

1951 - Inkjet printing is used for the first time.

1957 - The first image scanner is introduced. Helvetica font debuts.

1959 - Offices have the ability to make photocopies for the first time.

1963 - Pantone color matching system debuts.

1968 - The first dot-matrix printer premieres.

1969 - Xerox invents the first laser printer.

1972 - Thermal printing is invented.

1983 - The first desktop publishing program is sold.

1984 - A 3-D printer is produced.

1999 - First self-publishing blogger website released on the internet.

2001 - Wikipedia, the first free and collaborative encyclopedia, debuts.

2003 - Hewlett-Packard sells the first Wi-Fi-enabled laser printer.

2007 - Amazon begins selling the Kindle, an e-reader.

2010 - Apple releases the iPad, a portable tablet.

2018 - The U.S. Government Publishing Office sells off the remnants of its letterpress operation as scrap. It was once the largest hot metal press in the world.

2019 - The Bureau of Labor statistics drops the tracking of the commercial printing industry from its monthly report of jobs.


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