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A Brief History of the Origins of Printing...
No place on Earth has produced more fundamental contributions to the development of printing than has China. Paper, Relief Printing, and Moveable Type—The very Foundations of the Industry—all emerged from China beginning more than 2000 years ago.

Here is a condensed timeline of early Chinese Printing technology development:

Western Han Dynasty (202BC-16AD)—Emergence of Paper: Evidence of the world's first use of proper paper.

105AD— Paper Refinement: Tsai Loun achieved remarkable developments in modern paper-making from hemp, bark and—strangely enough—recycled fishnets. The result was a thin, soft paper with a tight texture and smooth finish...this set the precedent for the development of printing techniques.

600AD—Development of woodblock printing technology: A detailed inscription was painted on wood blocks and coated with rice paste to retain the shape of the ink. A craftsman would then cut away a raised impression of the inscription, whcich was brushed with ink and pressed against a sheet of paper. A huge conceptual leap in graphic communication, this method allowed multiple replications of formerly singular events in communication.

932 AD—Rise of The Book: The first known book, "The Diamond Sutra," a collection of Buddhist classics in 130 volumes, was made at the initiative of Fong Tao, a Chinese minister.

Circa 1041—Moveable Type: A chinese alchemist named Bi Sheng invented moveable type by creating raised individual characters made of baked clay. He fixed them to an iron plate which was heated to rearrange the characters at will. This basic innovation was not surpassed in historic importance for the graphic arts until the invention of desktop publishing some 950 years later.

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A Brief History of the Origins of Printing...