The 15th century - the formative years of modern printing

1041  Movable clay type invented in China.
1436  Gutenberg commenced work on his press.
1440  Gutenberg completed his wooden press which used metal moving type.
1455  Gutenberg completed work on his 42 Line Bible.
1455  Gutenberg was effectively bankrupt.
1456  Mazarw Bible printed in Mainz.
1461  Albrecht Pfister printed the first illustrated book Edelstein which     featured                            a number of woodcuts.
1462 The attack on Mainz by soldiers of the Archbishop of Nassau, caused printers to flee the city and spread their skills around Europe.
1476 William Caxton sets up his press in West-minster.
1477 The first book to be printed in England (by Caxton) Dictes or Sayengis of the Philo-sophres.
1491 Caxton died and his press was taken over by his assistant Wynkyn de Worde.
1499 Printing had become established in more than 250 cities around Europe. first time, England would lead the way with its literary genius.

The 16th century - a period of consolidation

1501 Italic characters first used in Manutius's Virgil.
1518 Roman types began to replace Gothic typestyles.
1550 Metal screw threads introduced as a replacement for wooden ones to assist the power action of presses.
1559 Plantin's Polyglot Bible printed, with features by engraved intaglio prints.
1563 Parliament passed the Statute of Artificers Act which proved greatly restrictive to craftsmen.
1572 John Day introduced Roman type in England.
1584 Cambridge University commenced printing continuing to the present-day.
1587 Oxford University commenced printing.
1593 Printing of Shakespeare's Venus & Adonis represented the dawn of a new era in literature.

17th Century printing - the literary era.

1604 King James Bible printed - it needed 47 translators.
1609 Avisa Relation oder Zeitung, the world's first newspaper was printed by Johan Carolus of Strasbourg.
1620 Censorship and war in Europe led Holland to become an early centre of journalism.
1620 Willem Blaeu of Amsterdam adapted the standard wooden presses to take a spring and suspended platen.
1637 The number of printers and foundries in England was limited by decree.
1639 Englishman Stephen Day set up the first press in the US.
1644 Parliament passed the notorious Licensing Act and printed work was subjected to censorship.
1665 Charles II took refuge from the plague in Oxford. He permitted Henry Muddiman to print a paper called the Oxford Gazette. When the Royal court returned to London, Muddiman and his journal went with them and the London Gazette was born.

1666 The first paper banknote was printed by the Bank of Sweden.
1689 Parliament's Declaration of Rights which ultimately led to the downfall of the Licensing Act.
1694 The Licensing Act expired and was not renewed.
1694 Bank of England founded as a joint stock company, heralding a new financial era.
1699 Papermaking had been one of the main growth industries of the century. By this year, 150 mills in England employed over 2,500 workers.