Help Center text repeats a common myth about Gutenberg

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helpcenter
gutenberg

#1

Problematic URL: https://help.sketchup.com/en/article/3000101

Description of the Issue: Initial text on page reads, “Can you imagine Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, learning how to create 3D models in SketchUp?”

But Gutenberg did NOT invent the printing press. This is a common misunderstanding, conflation, error.

Gutenberg’s invention was more technical. He was a goldsmith and silversmith. He had experience with hot metal casting and stamping. He invented a mold design for casting lead type where one face of the mold was replaceable. That made it easy to cast lots of type pieces that lined up perfectly. Presses already existed, so did the printing ink and paper, which I have heard attributed to him too. Prior to his invention, type was hand carved. He took the most time-consuming, expensive part of the process and turned it into the fastest and cheapest, instead of being a bottleneck, it could be prepared well in advance.

The metaphor in the article can still be used, it’s even more applicable, if you simply change his claim to fame to: “Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of movable type”.

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#2

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