our evolving culture - paper

1st Millennium A.D. 105 Invention – According to tradition, an imperial eunuch named Cai Lun invented paper. The material, however, has been found in Chinese tombs dating to the 2nd century B.C. By the end of the 8th century, Chinese paper craftsmen had set up shop in the Middle East.

11th CenturyMovable type was developed in China by the year 1048 and the metal variety in Korea by 1403. However, it was impractical for the ideographs both used (as many as 400,000 characters). Rubbing off wood blocks and stone, practiced since the 7th century, was the preferred technology of a versatile book trade.

1150Technology transfer – The Arabs took paper from Iraq and Egypt to North Africa and Muslim Spain.

13th CenturyItaly gets paper – Finally Europe had a cheap alternative to vellum and parchment. (It took the skins of 80 lambs to create a 200-page parchment manuscript.)

1300sBlock printing arrived in Europe, perhaps brought by merchants and bureaucrats of the expanding Mongol Empire. And paper was available for use.

1455Johann Gutenberg invented an efficient press in Germany and used movable type to publish Bibles, transforming Europe.

1591Those rotten journalists – A Chinese border official complained of irresponsible “news-bureau entrepreneurs” who give no consideration to “matters of [national] emergency”.

1605Newspapers – The first weekly appeared in Antwerp; it would be 1650 before the first daily was published, in Leipzig.

1776Thomas Paine – His printed pamphlet Common Sense would inspire the Declaration of Independence; his American Crisis rallied Washington’s troops at Valley Forge.

1811Industrial Revolution – The steam engine began to power the press; the rotary press (invented in 1846) allowed runs of 20,000 sheets an hour.

1851The New York Times, then the New York Daily Times, was founded. Adolph S. Ochs bought the paper in 1896. His descendants still run the Gray Lady.

1890sThe press barons – Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst engaged in a circulation war filled with sensational headlines and “yellow journalism.” Hearst’s papers helped foment the Spanish-American War.

1931Rupert Murdoch was born in Australia. Beginning in the late 1960s, he became the founder of the first truly global media empire, with properties ranging from newspapers to a movie studio to cable and broadcast television networks.

1968Toward e-paper – Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo, was born in Taiwan. Though Yahoo has ventured into print magazines, its greatest asset is the 385 million page views its sites provide every day.

Try some more about papers and evolving offices that involve a lot of writing; & try this as well. via

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