Can you guess the age of the book below?
If you had said the 1450’s, you would be correct. This book is one of Johannes Gutenberg’s bibles – the first books to be printed using metal movable type printers. The metals Gutenberg used for his types, lead, tin and antimony, remained the industry standard for 550 years thereafter. The neatly formatted Latin characters were printed and the illustrations were added later by hand.
Whenever I imagined the first ever printed books, I thought of them to be imperfect, given the limitations of 15th century technology. I imagined the letters to be smudged and the formatting to be distorted. Setting my prejudiced eyes upon one of Gutenberg’s original bible left me gaping at its neat margins, clean lettering and impeccable workmanship. It is indeed an artifact that rivals the finest of books in the 21st century.
When we humans are able to transcend our bounded selves, we perform feats that resonate with the boundless that resides in every one of us.