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Pre-Industrial When is the earliest time that the printing press becomes feasible to build?


Active member
Putting aside the scenario of a time-traveller coming to the past with a manual on building a Gutenburg press from scratch, of course 😏

When and where did a sufficient amount of the prerequisite technologies exist in the public knowledge that an individual with a plausible level of resources and expertise would be able to innovate just a little further and then integrate them all together into a mass printing device?

Terra Novan

Well-known member
Gutenberg printing press machine is going to be harder, but printing itself can be done much earlier. Like, second millennium BCE, if you count Phaistos disc as one. Even you don't, woodblock printing was a mature technology by the 1,000 CE in East Asia.
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Goto Wogon for Hard SciFi
IIRC, the Chinese were using clay to make ceramic movable type in 1040 AD.

The Romans were casting small metal items easily enough.

The printing press was mostly based on presses used in wine making, so it would not be too hard for the romans to have developed movable type printing.

Heck, with the ability to make stamps in Mesopotamia, I would not be surprised it technically the Sumerians could have developed some form of printing cueniform.
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