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China: Pioneers of Technology

Posted by: | September 15, 2010 | No Comment |

The Chinese inventions of paper and the printing press are often overlooked by the Western World. However, China was the first country to improve on the paper making process and created the first moveable type printing press, without which journalism would not have evolved to where it is today.

Stephens cites A.D. 105 as the year Ts’ai Lun invented paper. In fact, paper scraps have actually been found in China from as early as 140 B.C.

Early Chinese paper from 100 B.C.

Early Chinese paper from 100 B.C.

Ts’ai Lun is actually credited with improving the paper making process, from using the pulp of tough bamboo to sesame fiber.

China also had the first moveable type printing press roughly 400 years before Johann Gutenberg in 1045. Bi Sheng, inventor of the moveable type, craved 3,000 of Chinese characters in wooden blocks that were arranged on an iron board when an article was to be printed. Later on, clay was used to make the characters.

Two Chinese printing tables with their 3,000 characters

Two Chinese printing tables with their 3,000 characters

Even though Gutenberg invented his own printing press in 1450, the Chinese still made a hugh impact in the technology of print journalism.

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