This, just in...

Today some of us remember the anniversary of the death of Buddy Holly but I doubt whether anybody will be remembering Johannes Gutenberg who also died on 3rd February. Newpapers all over the world ran the Buddy Holly story, thanks to the work of Gutenberg, whose development, in Europe, of moveable type and the invention of the printing press during the first half of the 15th Century, provided the tools for an indstry that lasted well into my lifetime. The smell of hot metal is burned into my consciousness.

Johannes Gutenberg lives on, in name at least. His place in the next few hundred years of history commemorated by Project Gutenberg, the online resource that aims to digitise and curate important literature and provide it online, free in a simple format. Its guiding tenet is "Replicator Technology". The concept of Replicator Technology is simple; once a book or any other item (including pictures, sounds, and even 3-D items) is stored in a computer, then any number of copies can and will be available. Easy peasy to understand now of course, but way back In 1971 it sounded like Voodoo.

One of my readers has started collecting woodblock type. Not long ago it was being thrown in skips. This is a shame, for, not only does it turn the making of mass media into a highly tactile experience, if, for some reason they turn the internet off, we may just need those lost skills.


strapworld said...

To think that Jordan, Katie Price that best selling author, will be remembered more than Christian Barnard.

My brother was a compositor for the Manchester Guardian. He loved the job, the smell of the print etc.

Perhaps this is a cue for a song, WW, 'The day the printing died'.

Rebel Saint said...

Off topic ... glad to see the dancing guys are back :o) You can't find class like that produced on a Gutenberg

Span Ows said...

RS...I hate those things! I find it difficult to read the top post with those two shimmying in the side-bar.

P.S. Odd, but on the previous post (John Barry) I immediately thought of Buddy Holly.