The History of Making Books: Build a Printing Press at MIT

A group of MIT students briefly put away their cell phones this spring to concentrate on a much older information storage and retrieval device: the book. In a hands-on humanities class — Making Books: The Renaissance and Today — students gained insights about early books and book-making technology, not least by actually making paper and building a handset printing press, the kind of press on which the great documents of the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution were printed. (Learn more about the build:

Video: Melanie Gonick/MIT

Additional footage: Jonathan Sachs
Historical printing image: Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
Music sampled from, “Beat The Burglar” by Scott Holmes

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4 thoughts on “The History of Making Books: Build a Printing Press at MIT

  1. Raphael Njoku

    Gotta admire the engineering of the past. Efficient and accurate mechanisms without computer aided manufacture; just hard graft.

  2. ELDK2008

    I did all of this in H.S. – bring back wood shop & metal shop. How is this college level work? Well, at least they were exposed to it.


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