Answer to August 14th TBT (Trivia Brainstorming Thursday)

Q: The first book ever printed, was printed by whom and in what year? What happened?

A: Most people answered the Gutenberg Bible printed by Gutenberg. This is technically incorrect. The Anonymously published 42-line Bible was printed by Johann Fust (Faust) and his head foreman Peter Schoeffer in 1456. Johann Gutenberg (born Johann Geinsfleisch) was the inventor of the movable type printing press and most likely printed the first pages of the Gutenberg bible but his lender turned partner, Johann Fust, took him to court due to an outstanding loan. The courts favored Fust and he was able to seize the entire business. Fust and Schoeffer went on to publish more books. Fust, whose family name was later changed to Faust was also rumored to have worked for Laurens Jaansen known as Costa in Haarlem who was possibly the first real inventor of moveable type. Interestingly, he has also been named as a possible inspiration for Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

After Fust died, Schoefferinherited the business and married Fust's daughter, Christina. He was very successful in the printing business. Gutenberg on the other hand died in poverty three years after having taken a position in the court of the Archbishop of Mainz.  History has credited Johann Gutenberg with his invention by naming that first book 'The Gutenberg Bible' even though he never finished printing it.



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