Cai Lun “Inventor of Paper” and Johannes Gutenberg “Press Machine”

inventor of paper and paper press machine
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Basic InformationCai LunJohannes Gutenberg
Date of BirthC 57/ 62CE (estimated)C 1400
Place of BirthCommandery, Han Empire (modern-day Hunan province, China)Mainz, Electorate of Mainz in the Holy Roman Empire
Date of Death121 CE3rd February 1468
Place of DeathLuoyang, Han Empire (modern-day Henan province China)Mainz, Electorate of Mainz in the Holy Roman Empire
Age89 years old (estimated)68 years old (estimated)
SchoolN / AN / A
High School / CollegeN / AN / A
UniversityN / AN / A
OccupationInventor and eunuch court officialEngraver, inventor, and printer
Career75 C. E – 121 C. E1422 – 1468
Famous forModernization of paperThe invention of the movable-type printing press
TitleFather of Paper productionPrinting press inventor
Other worksEunuch court official, PoliticianEngraver, inventor,
AwardsNot awarded at that timeNot awarded at that time


Cai Lun was a lawyer and Chinese eunuch, living in the Leiyang, Guiyang Commandery, Han Empire (modern-day Hunan province, China). He was famous for the inventor of paper and the modern paper production techniques in the early era. He is known as the first person who was the founder of the papermaking machine and the process. Johannes Gutenberg was the first person who was the inventor of the Paper press machine. At that time, he was an engraver in the area where he lived. . He was the 3rd child of Freile zum Gensfleisch and his subsequent wife, Else Wirick zum Gutenberg, whose real name Johann later received.

Cai Lun:

Cai Lun was born on c, 57/ 62 in Leiyang, Guiyang Commandery, Han Empire (modern-day Hunan province, China). Cai Lun was a legislator and Chinese eunuch. He is broadly known for designing paper and the papermaking procedure. He improved the norm on papermaking by including new materials into the paper blend. These days, Cai Lun’s method is still commonly utilized for the advanced papermaking measure[1].

Cai Lun was a Han-dynasty Chinese eunuch official. He is traditionally regarded as the inventor of the papermaking process, in forms recognizable in modern times as paper as opposed to papyrus. After castration followed by serving as a court
Cai Lun was a Han-dynasty Chinese eunuch official. He is traditionally regarded as the inventor of the papermaking process, in forms recognizable in modern times as paper as opposed to papyrus. After castration followed by serving as a court

Key Facts and Information:

Early Life[1]:

  1. Cai Lun was born in Guiyang (presently known as Leiyang, Hunan) around 50 AD. He lived during the rule of the Han Dynasty.
  2. In 75 C.E., Cai Lun started filling in as a court eunuch – he was 25 years of age. In the wake of accepting emasculation as a necessity to turn into a eunuch, he served under the standard of Emperor He.
  3. Cai Lun had a brilliant and promising vocation under Emperor He’s rule. In AD 89, Emperor He advanced him with the title of Shang Fang Si, an official position where he was accused of assembling instruments and weapons.
  4. He additionally turned into a desk work secretary and a Regular Palace Attendant.

Career and Contributions[1]:

In 105 A.D., Cai Lun introduced the ruler of his methods of making the paper. Before papers existed, it was basic for illustrious individuals to do works and engravings on tablets, bamboo slides, and metal. Different human advancements, for example, Egyptians and Greeks utilized papyrus, material, wood, and ostraca for their composing mediums[1].

Cai Lun began to start making a composting medium which is lighter and more useful. He made pieces of paper from inward bark of bamboo, mulberry trees, clothes of fabric, and fishing nets. He blended the arrangement in with water, and after the combination begins to relax, he poured the combination onto a level bit of woven fabric, depleting the water, and dried the blend until it shaped into a flimsy tangled sheet[1].

Subsequently, the slender sheets were a lot lighter and agreeable to be composed on, making it commonsense to be conveyed when the royals needed to end up in a good place.

Ancient Chinese Science and Technology
Ancient Chinese Science and Technology

His development made Emperor He was satisfied and he conceded Cai Lun numerous prizes and a privileged title. In 114 A.D., he was named as a marquess, an illustrious title like the British aristocrat which positions over a baron and under a duke[1].

Cai Lun’s understudy, Zuo Bo, later added to the fundamental enhancements of the paper-production measure. The cycle was later received all through China and afterward spread to the remainder of the world[1].

Cai Lun’s Involvement in Palace Intrigue[1]:

  1. Cai Lun was engaged with a castle interest between Empress Dou and her adversary, Consort Song.
  2. The adversary between Empress Dou and Consort Song started when Empress Dou needed to eliminate the more established child of Emperor Zhang, Liu Qing from the seat line, and supplant the crown sovereign with her received child, Prince Zhao.
  3. Liu Qing was Consort Song’s child. In 82 A.D, Consort Song became sick, and she needed crude Cuscuta, a natural medication. Associate Song’s ailment was utilized by Empress Dou to erroneously blame Consort Song for utilizing the Cuscuta for black magic.
  4. Cai Lun was an ally of Empress Dou. He was answerable for capturing and questioning the Crown Prince Qing and Consort Song.
  5. After the demise of Empress Dou passing in 97 A.D, Cai Lun turns into a partner with Consort Deng Sui.

Death and Legacy[1]:

  1. In 121 A.D., Emperor A ventured into the seat after Empress Deng’s demise. As Consort Song’s grandson, he focused on rebuffing those answerable for the passings and enduring of his grandma and his dad, Liu Qing.
  2. Cai Lun was told to answer to the jail. Before he detailed, he ended it all by drinking poison in the wake of cleaning up.
  3. After Cai Lun passing, his burial place was worked at his domain, Dragon Pavillion Village, in the city of Leiyang, Hunan Province.
  4. As indicated by Fei Zhu from the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279 A.D), individuals additionally construct a sanctuary for regarding Cai Lun in Chengdu. Numerous families engaged with the papermaking business went from far away and come to offer appreciation.
  5. Cai Lun’s burial place is presently under state security as a noteworthy site. A commemoration lobby committed to Cai Lun was constructed and encircled by a nursery.
  6. Cai Lun’s advancement of paper made Leiyang, his old neighborhood, be known as “Innovation Square,” which was named by him as a demonstration of honor.
  7. With the innovation of paper, China could build up its way of life through works of writing a lot quicker than the main composing mediums (particularly silk and bamboo plates).
  8. Paper accomplished its prompt fame around the globe during the colonization time frame and the launch of the silk shipping lane.
  9. For instance, the Arab troopers caught some Chinese paper creators in the wake of overcoming them in the Battle of Talas River. After gaining from exercises from Chinese papermakers, the Arabian public could deliver the primary Arab paper in Samarkand. Hence, the creation of paper immediately become well known and supplanted the papyrus creation in the Middle East and North Africa.
  10. In Asia, since the 600s A.D., China’s papermaking procedure had spread to Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. Paper was acquainted with Europe in the twelfth century. The boundless utilization of paper in Europe implied paper added to the establishment of the Scholastic Age.
  11. Cai Lun was positioned as the seventh most powerful figure in history as indicated by Michael H. Hart.
101 Influential Figure up to this Century Cai Lun (Ts'ai Lun)
101 Influential Figure up to this Century Cai Lun (Ts’ai Lun)

Cai Lun Worksheets:

This is a fabulous group that incorporates all you require to think about the Cai Lun across 24 inside and out pages. These are prepared to-utilize Cai Lun worksheets that are ideal for showing understudies Cai Lun who was a lawmaker and Chinese eunuch. He is broadly known for creating paper and the papermaking measure. He improved the norm on papermaking by including new materials into the paper blend. These days, Cai Lun’s strategy is still commonly utilized for the advanced papermaking measure[1].

Cai Lun: Inventor of Papermaking 蔡伦

Johannes Gutenberg:

Johannes Gutenberg began exploring different avenues regarding printing by 1438. In 1450, Gutenberg got backing from the lender, Johann Fust, whose restlessness and different elements prompted Gutenberg’s loss of his foundation to Fust quite a while later. Gutenberg’s show-stopper, and the principal book ever imprinted in Europe from portable kind, is the “42 Line” Bible, finished no later than 1455[2].

Gutenberg inspecting the first proof sheet of his Bible printed form
Gutenberg inspecting the first proof sheet of his Bible printed form

Early Life:

Naturally introduced to an unobtrusive trader family in Mainz, Germany, around 1395, Johannes Gutenberg’s work as a designer and printer would majorly affect correspondence and learning around the world. He was the third child of Freile zum Gensfleisch and his subsequent spouse, Else Wirick zum Gutenberg, whose family name Johann later usual. There is a minimal written history of this early life, however, neighborhood records demonstrate he apprenticed as a goldsmith while living in Mainz[2].

Tests in Printing:

At the point when a skilled worker revolt ejected in Mainz against the respectable class in 1428, Gutenberg’s family was ousted and gotten comfortable what is presently Strasbourg, France, where his examinations with printing started. Effectively acquainted with bookmaking, Gutenberg culminated little metal sort. Boundlessly handier than cutting total wood blocks for printing, each type was a solitary letter or character. Mobile sort had been utilized in Asia many years sooner, yet Gutenberg’s advancement was building up a projecting framework and metal amalgams which made creation simpler[2].

Life before the print machine:

Before the print machine was created, any works and drawings must be finished carefully by hand. A few distinct materials were utilized to translate books: earth and papyrus, wax, and material. It wasn’t simply any individual who was permitted to do this; such work was normally held for copyists who lived and worked in cloisters[3].


The religious communities had an extraordinary room called a “scriptorium.” There, the recorder would work peacefully, first estimating and illustrating the page designs and afterward cautiously replicating the content from another book. Afterward, the illuminator would take over to add plans and embellishments to the pages[3].

In the Dark Ages and Middle Ages, books were normally just possessed by religious communities, instructive establishments, or amazingly rich individuals. Most books were strict. Now and again, a family may be sufficiently fortunate to claim a book, in which case it would be a duplicate of the Bible[3].

Money related Trouble:

In 1448, Gutenberg moved back to Mainz and by 1450 was working in a print shop. He had obtained 800 guilders from neighborhood agent Johann Fust to buy explicit devices and gear required for his novel typography technique. By December 1452, Gutenberg was vigorously in the red and incapable to pay Fust’s advance. Another understanding was drawn up making Fust an accomplice in Gutenberg’s business. Notwithstanding, by 1455, Gutenberg was as yet unfit to pay the obligation and Fust sued. Court records are crude, yet researchers accept that while the preliminary was going on, Gutenberg had the option to print his work of art, the “42 Line” Bible, presently known as the Gutenberg Bible[2].

Johannes Gutenberg made billboards possible
Johannes Gutenberg made billboards possible

Fust in the end won the suit and took over the greater part of Gutenberg’s printing business, including the creation of his Bibles. Dwindle Schoeffer, Fust’s child in-law, who had affirmed against him during the preliminary, presently joined Fust as an accomplice in the business. Notwithstanding the Bible, Gutenberg’s other significant accomplishment was the Psalter (the book of Psalms) which was additionally given to Fust as a component of the settlement. The Psalter is designed with several two-shading starting letters and sensitive parchment fringes utilizing a brilliant strategy dependent on numerous inking on a solitary metal square. The Psalter was the principal book to show the name of its printers, Fust and Schoffer, yet history specialists accept that neither might have grown such a modern technique alone and that Gutenberg probably been working for the pair in the business he once possessed[2].

Gutenburg print machine, mobile sort:

Rather than utilizing woodblocks, Gutenberg utilized metal all things considered. This got known as a “portable sort machine,” since the metal square letters could be moved around to make new words and sentences[3].

With this machine, Gutenberg made the absolute previously printed book, which was normally a generation of the Bible. Today the Gutenberg Bible is a staggeringly important, prized thing for its verifiable heritage[3].

How the print machine functions:

With the first print machine, a casing is utilized to set gatherings of type blocks. Together, these squares make words and sentences; be that as it may, they are all in the switch. The squares are inked and afterward, a piece of paper is laid on the squares. The entirety of this goes through a roller to guarantee that the ink is moved to the paper. At long last, the paper is lifted, and the peruser can see the inked letters that presently show up typically because of the turned around blocks[3].

These print machines were worked by hand. Afterward, towards the nineteenth century, different creators made steam-controlled print machines that didn’t need a hand administrator. In the examination, the present print machines are electronic and computerized, and can print a lot quicker than any time in recent memory! [3]

Today, there are numerous kinds of print machines, each best for a particular sort of printing. They include[3].

Gutenberg Museum Gutenberg Bible Johannes Gutenberg
Gutenberg Museum Gutenberg Bible Johannes Gutenberg
  1. Letterpress:

Comparable in idea to Gutenberg’s press, letterpresses require an administrator to set portable sort, ink it, and press paper against it. The whole cycle is finished by hand. The letterpress is regularly utilized by little, boutique printers, and offers a lovely handcrafted look. Nonetheless, it’s additionally wasteful and costly contrasted with other print machines[3].

  • Counterbalance press:

The counterbalance press changed the printing business, making it conceivable to print tremendous amounts of productively and cost-successfully. More or less, present-day balance printing includes utilizing a PC to make a plate, which is then positioned on a chamber. Ink is applied to the plating chamber, which moves against an elastic chamber, which thusly rolls the ink onto pieces of paper took care of through the press. Counterbalance presses are utilized to mass-produce papers, magazines, books, and other written words[3].

Later Life and Death:

In 1462, Mainz was sacked by Archbishop Adolph II in a disagreement regarding control of the city, and Fust and Gutenberg’s printing organizations were demolished. A significant number of the city’s typographers fled to different pieces of Germany and Europe, taking their strategies and innovation with them. Gutenberg stayed in Mainz, yet by and by fell into neediness. The Archbishop conceded him the title of Hofmann (nobleman of the court) in 1465, which gave compensation and benefits to administrations delivered. Gutenberg carried on his printing exercises for a few additional years, yet little proof exists of what he distributed because he didn’t put his name on any of his paintings[2].

Motivation and creation of the print machine:

Around the last part of the 1430s, a German man named Johann Gutenberg was very urgent to figure out how to bring in cash. At that point, there was a pattern in appending little mirrors to one’s cap or garments to absorb mending powers when visiting heavenly places or symbols. The mirrors themselves were not huge, but rather Gutenberg unobtrusively noticed that it was so rewarding to make mass measures of a modest item[3].

During the 1300s to 1400s, individuals had built up a fundamental type of printing. It included letters or pictures cut on squares of wood. The square would be plunged in ink and afterward stepped onto paper[3].

Gutenberg previously had experience working at a mint, and he understood that on the off chance that he could utilize cut squares inside a machine, he could make the printing cycle much quicker. Far better, he would have the option to duplicate writings in incredible numbers[3].

Advanced press:

One of only a handful, not many disadvantages to counterbalance printing is that it’s not practical in low volumes, principally because plates can cost a few hundred dollars to create. That is unimportant when printing hundreds or thousands of a similar thing, yet it very well may be exorbitant when printing a couple dozen or even a solitary duplicate. Advanced presses make low-volume printing reasonable, and have likewise reformed the printing business since they don’t need plates. All things being equal, they utilize progressed inkjet or laser stream innovation to move ink to paper[3].

Kinds of presses:

Even though these are the most mainstream kinds of print machines, different sorts exist for particular purposes. For instance, etchers are frequently used to make the raised logos regularly observed on letterhead[3].

Effect of the print machine:

Gutenberg’s creation had an emotional effect when it arrived at people in general. From the start, the respectable classes peered down on it. To them, hand-inked books were an indication of extravagance and glory, and it was no counterpart for the less expensive, mass-created books[3].

Hence, press-printed materials were from the start more well-known with the lower classes. At the point when word spread about the print machine, other print shops opened and soon it formed into an altogether new exchange. Printed messages turned into another approach to spread data to tremendous crowds rapidly and economically. Scholastics profited by this dispersal of academic thoughts and even government officials found that they could earn the public’s enthusiasm through printed handouts[3].

A significant result was that individuals could peruse and build their insight all the more effectively now, though in the past it was basic for individuals to be very uninformed. This expanded the conversation and advancement of novel thoughts[3].

Modern printer machines of 21st century in the world
Modern printer machines of 21st century in the world

Another huge impact was that the print machine was to a great extent liable for Latin’s decay as other territorial dialects turned into the standard in privately printed materials. The print machine likewise normalized language, sentence structure, and spelling. The print machine assumed a significant part in molding the Renaissance, which has intriguing connections to the present Information Age[3].

Present-day print innovation has made printing more reasonable and available than any time in recent memory, regardless of whether you’re printing a huge number of booklets or a solitary short-run banner. The business has even grasped the Digital Age, which has offered ascend to internet printing organizations that make it simple for anybody to configuration, print, and mail printed materials without leaving their PCs[3].


Records of Gutenberg’s later years are as crude as his initial life. As yet living in Mainz, it is accepted that he went daze in the most recent months of his life. He kicked the bucket on February 3, 1468, and was covered in the congregation of the Franciscan religious community in the close by town of Eltville, Germany[2].

Johannes Gutenberg and the Printing Press


Cai Lun was born on c, 57/ 62 in Leiyang, Guiyang Commandery, Han Empire modern-day Hunan province, China. Cai Lun was a lawmaker and Chinese eunuch. He is known for deceitful paper and the papermaking method. He improved the norm on papermaking by including new materials into the paper mixture. These days, Cai Lun’s way is immobile usually used for the progressive papermaking measure. On the other hand, Johannes Gutenberg began exploring different roads concerning production by 1438. In 1450, Gutenberg got support from the lender, Johann Fust, whose agitation and changed rudiments encouraged Gutenberg’s loss of his foundation to Fust quite a though later. Gutenberg’s domestic was ousted and become contented what is presently Strasbourg, France, where his inspections with letterpress in progress. Effectively familiar with book press, Gutenberg terminated slight metal sort. Continuously nearer than wounding total wood blocks for printing, each type was a lonely letter or character. Mobile classes had been utilized in Asia many years sooner, yet Gutenberg’s development was structure up a projecting framework and metal mixtures which made formation simpler.


1.            kidskonnect. 27th October 2020; Available from:

2.         biography. 27th October 2020; Available from:

3.         psprint. 27th October 2020; Available from:

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