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Printing on paper originated in China around the 8th century CE, with the use of wooden blocks carved to reproduce text or images. The Chinese also used baked clay movable type. Block printing spread to Europe in the 14th century. The first European printing press using movable metal type was probably developed around 1450 by Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz. By 1500, there were 250 printing presses in Europe. Early type attempted to mirror the appearance of handwriting. Early printers produced bibles, romances, lives of the saints, travel guides, sermons, ballads, handbills, Latin and Greek classics in their original languages and the vernacular, and many other works to be read by an increasingly literate public. Formats included single sheets of paper called broadsheets or broadsides, chapbooks ...

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