Johannes Gutenberg, who is often called “the father of modern printing”, was born in Mainz, Germany in 1398. His invention of improved moveable metal type changed the world and made books available to many more people than previously. Before Gutenberg, printing was mostly done using fixed wooden type which was less durable and more difficult to produce than metal type.
Gutenberg’s printing inventions also included a process for mass-producing the moveable metal type, the use of new kinds of ink and a new kind of wooden printing press. Gutenberg was a blacksmith and goldsmith as well as a printer, and he invented a metal alloy for the type consisting of lead, tin and antimony. These same components are still currently used to produce metal type.
There is a statue of Johannes Gutenberg in Gutenbergplatz near the cathedral in Mainz.