The printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century. Gutenberg was a German blacksmith, goldsmith, printer, and publisher who is credited with inventing the first printing press with movable type.
Before Gutenberg, books were hand-written and could only be produced in limited numbers, making them extremely expensive and accessible only to the wealthy and powerful. Gutenberg's invention allowed for the mass production of books, making them more affordable and widely available.
Gutenberg developed his printing press by adapting existing technologies and combining them in new ways. He created a system of movable type, where each letter and symbol was cast as a separate piece of metal type. This allowed for the creation of pages by arranging the type in a frame, called a "forme", and then inking it before printing. He also improved the process of casting type, by creating a mold that would cast multiple letters at once and used oil-based ink which was more durable than the water-based inks of the time. He also developed a new type of paper, which was more absorbent and produced clearer prints than the parchment or vellum that was used before.
Gutenberg's invention of the printing press with movable type was a major technological advancement that greatly increased the speed and efficiency of printing and led to the mass production of books, making them more affordable and widely available. This led to an explosion of knowledge and ideas, and the democratization of information.