Re: [PPLetterpress] "Re: The King is Dead, ..."
Not at all. The Helmasperger Instrument clearly indicates that Gutenberg
was involved with Fust and Schöffer in regard to B42. But the document
is an annulment of contract and really only refers to Gutenberg's role
in setting up the equipment. Whether or not printing with movable type
was Gutenberg's development, he certainly must have understood it well
enough to set up the facility.
A while back we did a book on Gutenberg and one of printing historians
we consulted with told us everything that we needed to know was in the
money trail. He suggested we start with the paper. It quickly became
clear to us that nothing as massive and unique as the ad hoc B42
enterprise had ever been attempted before. And, Gutenberg and Fust had
no path to follow.
But there was a problem with B42 (production seems to have stalled) and
that may be why Schöffer was brought on board. He is thought to have
been Fust's adopted son, not quite Gutenberg's apprentice (though that
is how he has been portrayed). He was a trained copyist and university
educated. He knew book work and letterforms. My guess is that Fust had
to produce a book that was better than the work of a scribe, or he was
in deep financial trouble. Schöffer could solve that problem, Gutenberg
could not. Thus it may be that once Gutenberg's mechanical expertise was
passed on and he could offer no more, he was somewhat in the way. Plus,
it is now known that his type (and the technique) started showing up in
other places (Hamburg specifically) contemporaneous to B42. Possibly
regarded as a violation of contract, or at least a thorn in the side,
but not mentioned in the Instrument.
This, of course, is just pieced together speculation.
>Well this I can certainly agree with.
>I have seen two B42s. One on paper, the other on parchment. As well as
>the Mainz Psalter. Breathtaking.
>Typographically speaking, as far as I can tell, it was all Peter
>>Why do you say this? Do you think Schoeffer invented printing?
>>We simply do not know what technique Gutenburg used, there are no
>>records of that
>>at all. There was a lot of secrecy that surrounded early printing.
>>Would we have even known
>>about Gutenburg, if he never had a quarrel with his associates and
>>did not went to court ?
>>But all the techniques needed for it, were available in some form
>>It's the combination that made it unique
>>Those Gutenburg-bibles, they are at the top of typography, who of
>you have ever
>>been able to take a peek at them ? There are not so many around.
I cut off the last of my post to you by mistake. I think the date of
Schöffer's entry into the project is fairly accurate primarily because
somewhere was a reference to his being in Mainz prior to the fall of
Constantinople (1493), which was of considerable concern to the