Monday, February 27, 2012
Laurens Janszoon Coster
While we were in the "Market Square" in Haarlem we saw this statue and got a quick picture of it. We later investigated who L. J. Coster was and found out the information that I've pasted below.
"L. J. Coster is the man that Haarlemers credit with creating modern printing techniques. Forty years before Gutenberg "invented" the first printing press, supposedly this man carved the letter "A" out of wood, dropped it into some wet sand and saw the imprint it left. He got the idea of making movable type out of wood (and later he may have tried using lead). In the statue, Coster (c. 1370-1440) holds up a block of movable type and points to himself, saying: "I made this." How much Coster did is uncertain, but Gutenberg trumped him by building a printing press, casting type in metal, and pounding out the Bible. (And the Chinese beat them both by several centuries.)"
(Information thanks to Rick Steves' travel site! :)