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Ancient Inventors (1400s and Earlier) Part 2

When it comes to ancient inventors, do you know what powerful invention William Caxton is responsible for throughout history? While Leonardo da Vinci is well known as an artist, do you know what inventions he sketched before they became a reality? Are you aware of the man who invented the first printing press with movable type? In this article, you will learn about the glorious achievements of three influential inventors from the 1400s and earlier.

William Caxton

William Caxton, who lived throughout the 1400s held many different hats, including English businessman, royal advisor, translator, editor, and printer. It was also he who would construct the first printing press in 1476. Caxton was first introduced to the world of printing while in Cologne, Germany.

While he was in Brussels, he would print “The Recuyell,” which was the first book printed in the English language. This was said to have taken place about 1474. A second publication called “The Game and Play of Chess Moralised” was printed in 1476. A couple of ‘firsts’ in history were also accomplished because this would become the first printed book on the subject of chess, as well as the first printed book that would showcase woodcut illustrations.

When Caxton returned to England, he would set up the first printing press in the region (1476). This is when he produced the following texts: ” Troilus and Creseide,” ” Morte d’Arthur,” ” The History of Reynart the Foxe,” as well as ” The Canterbury Tales” by Chaucer. Many other published titles would follow. Caxton is also responsible for influencing English variations, as he refused to print regional dialect and would become a driving force behind the standardization of the English language, including the way words would be spelled.

Johannes Gutenberg

The printing press with movable type is an invention of Johannes Gutenberg, who lived between the later 1300s and 1468. The German craftsman, inventor, and printer created the movable type version of the printing press in 1450, which would give a boost to the printing process, making it much easier to accomplish, as well as allowed individuals to save money. The invention used dies (molds) with individual pieces of metal type that were reusable. The new press possessed the ability to print a page every three minutes, which allowed printed materials to become available to the wider population for the first time. This would prove quite an influential impact in terms of religion, as religious materials became some of the earliest printed items in history.

Leonardo Da Vinci

The name certainly sparks interest and rings bells, as Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was a well-known Italian inventor, artist, and scientist. With a curiosity for engineering, he would generate detailed sketches of the airplane, helicopter (and other machines of flight), the parachute, the armored car, the submarine, as well as rapid-fire guns. Da Vinci also sketched the ballista, which was a giant crossbow. The centrifugal pump, which was designed to drain wetland masses, such as marshes, was also a product of Da Vinci’s sketches. He also drew the worm gear, which was a set of gears where many teeth made contact at the same time, where the strain on the teeth was reduced, thus allowing more pressure expected of a mechanism.