Hot off the Press

 On this day in 1468, one of the most influential figures in the last 2000 years (and maybe all of history) died. To keep things in perspective try to remember a few things: Leonardo Da Vinci was seven years old, Michelangelo had not been born yet and a guy named Christopher Columbus was just a teenage apprentice on a Genovese Ferry. 

If it had not been for this guy who died on this day, none of those guys would have become as famous as they are today. In fact, if it had not been for this guy who died, the Dark Ages might have remained dark and 90% of what we know today would be unknown. He had created a revolution that changed the way ideas were processed and began the knowledge revolution. 

The deceased was Johann Gutenberg....yes the inventor of moveable type....and thus printing....and thus knowledge for the common man. So, you say, let's hear about his grand and laudatory funeral. 

Well, the man who changed much of history died blind, poor, and virtually unnoticed. Now, before you cynically assume this dismal end was the result of the failure of early printing, check again. Gutenberg's printing was a winner from the get go. He started it in 1450 and within five years the Gutenberg Bible was almost due. Also due, however, was a loan to a certain Johann Fust (seed money for the print shop). Fust knew a good thing when he saw one and refused to extend the loan for one day. In default, Gutenberg handed over the print shop (type, press, paper, coffee-pot) to Fust who completed the Bible and became fabulously wealthy.

Remember, if you're thinking of inventing the next YouTube or Amazon, remember that Revolutionaries are sometimes killed in the Revolutions they start. 


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