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43 votes
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Why did Persia adopt the movable-type printing so late?

Much like Arabic, Persian script (الفبای فارسی‎) is difficult to write, with characters 'changing' depending on context. Think of a text consisting of many, many ligatures. And like in China and Japan ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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38 votes
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Why didn't Europeans before Gutenberg print with woodblocks?

First I would say that during the medieval period the demand for books was much lesser than after the books became comparatively cheap after Gutenberg. The key here is the expense a quickly worn out ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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35 votes
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Did the Ottoman empire suppress the printing press?

There is some truth in it, but the printing press adoption delay was only a late symptom of an attitude that began much earlier. In short is was more of contempt for the culture and aesthetics of ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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19 votes
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Who was Christophorus Uveida?

[I would like to thank @CarlosMartin for the helpful link to Christianson's book which I am referencing below]. The last name of the printer is written with a true double-U, so is actually Weida in ...
njuffa's user avatar
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13 votes
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How did pagination come to be used?

Unknown. For first numbering of pages in book or codex form. Around 1470-1499 for printed books made with numbers on pages. The system was known since antiquity, as there we have some fragments that ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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9 votes

How did Islam spread before the invention of the printing press?

Islam at first mostly spread by the sword. It could rapidly spread because of convenient circumstances. The everlasting border wars between the Byzantine and Sassanid empires hurt both empires ...
Jos's user avatar
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9 votes

Are there factors which caused the printing revolution to begin in Europe in 1450 and not some other place some other time?

A modern misconception was that Gutenberg invented printing; this was not the case. Woodblock printing was a craft over a thousand years old when he came about. Another misconception was that ...
DevSolar's user avatar
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8 votes

How can there be a "final edition" of a morning paper, in the morning?

Yes. Earlier editions were run for home delivery (often arriving at homes around 5AM) and later editions for newsstands. For East Coast papers, there would be major differences between the two in ...
C Monsour's user avatar
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8 votes

Why did typesetting allegedly "make it difficult for illegal copiers"?

When a claim on Wikipedia includes a citation, you should always try to locate of copy of the cited work if you are looking for further details about that claim. In this case, the source cited is The ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
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7 votes

What key technologies allowed construction of the Gutenberg printing press?

Actually the printing press itself - which I think works similarly to to an ancient olive press or wine press - might not have been the key invention that made the printing press practical. I once ...
MAGolding's user avatar
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7 votes
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How were precise hand drawn illustrations copied between the 16th and 20th century in Europe?

If you literally mean "copied", (from an existing original, as opposite to multiplied) then the only method before the invention of photography was "by hand". I mean if you have a picture, and want to ...
Alex's user avatar
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6 votes

Were there cases where an ethnic newspaper had the highest circulation in a country?

In 1900 Hufvudstadsbladet (Swedish language newspaper in Finland) had a circulation of 17,500, putting it far ahead of the nearest Finnish language rival, Uusi Soumetar at 11,300.(Conflict and ...
liftarn's user avatar
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6 votes
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Did the Picture Post publish the 1857 photo "Two Sepoys of the 31st Native Infantry Who Were Hanged at Lucknow" in 1939?

I was able to acquire access to the Picture Post archive which you link to. The June 3, 1939 issue has a special feature: "Colour Photogravure: History of 100 Years in Photographs. 7. The Indian ...
Avery's user avatar
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5 votes

Why did Persia adopt the movable-type printing so late?

It should be noted that the Persians did not have "printmaking" artisans to print paper and design "movable type". They did not print textiles or clay scriptures. It is ironic that the woodblock ...
bandybabboon's user avatar
5 votes

Why didn't Europeans before Gutenberg print with woodblocks?

Partial answer In fact, the earliest printing technology wasn’t for written text at all. There are silk fragments from the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE) in China that have flowers printed on them ...
MCW's user avatar
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3 votes

How were maps drawn and printed in the late 19th-early 20th centuries?

There is no much difference between reproducing maps and other pictures. Since the end of 19th century maps (and other pictures) were photo-reproduced. Before that time they were engraved. The ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 38.8k
3 votes

How did Islam spread before the invention of the printing press?

I focus on: How did Islam end up with a single Qur'an, without variant readings? In the early years of Islam two key factors ensured the production of a single version, without variants, of a book, ...
Andrew Shanks's user avatar
3 votes

How did Islam spread before the invention of the printing press?

Sufism is responsible for the proselytism and spread of Islam, first in the Middle East, then as far as Africa and South Asia. Sufism was a mystical form of Islam. The Sufi doctrine was established by ...
John Dee's user avatar
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3 votes

How were precise hand drawn illustrations copied between the 16th and 20th century in Europe?

Intaglio was a very common method of image reproduction between 1500 & 1900 and the resulting images were incredibly precise. It’s quite simple; 1. Cut into a hard surface (such as a copper ...
Amethyst Wizard's user avatar
2 votes

Why didn't pre-Gutenberg movable type systems cause a printing revolution?

"Why" questions are notoriously difficult, and I am sure there will be plenty of scorn piled on me for even trying... Any major invention consists of many parts. It also requires a market to ...
sds's user avatar
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2 votes

Why are there multiple versions of the color plate "Excavation of Olive Mount"?

What you call a "master copy" in this case refers only to the shapes and lines on the plate used to do the engraving. Different inks were probably used for the different releases through the ...
Mariana's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes

Did small rural newspaper offices in 1895 use rotary presses with rolls of paper or sheets?

There were a host - literally - of newspapers published in Oregon starting in 1846, some even continuing to the current day. The East Oregonian is an example of one still publishing that began ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
2 votes

How can there be a "final edition" of a morning paper, in the morning?

The first guess might of course be that a newspaper announced to stop circulation, perhaps only of its 'morning edition', or the entire outfit is about to close down. Thus final edition, ever. Like: ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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2 votes
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What was the first printed material owned and kept in Kamchatka?

My assumption about ships' libraries may have been in error. Chamisso, in "A voyage around the world...", wrote about his trip on the Rurik, on which in 1816 he found in Petropavlovsk not just books, ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
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1 vote

How much faster/better were European printing presses compared to Chinese block printing?

A few relevant factors: The Roman alphabet of Gutenberg's time had around 32 characters, plus ten digits and ten to fifteen commonly used punctuation marks and other symbols. Written Chinese has over ...
tj1000's user avatar
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