Maybe you can remember when it was cool to have a cellular phone that was the length of a cereal box. Remember it had an antenna just as long as the box was high. Are you nostalgic for the first time you saw a floppy disc go into a computer? Perhaps you're all about the newest/latest technology. You can't believe everyone hasn't already embraced the face-recognizing technology of the new smartphones! You can still enjoy this quiz reminding us that technology evolves rapidly and has been doing so for centuries. Let's check out some dead technologies!
Let us introduce you to the Listicle Liege, the Article Aficionado, the one and only Nathan. Since creating his first photo collage at the age of five with images clipped from his mom’s Chatelaine magazines (all of them), it’s been nearly impossible to stem this one’s tide of visual learning. Be it the annals of history or the latest celeb gossip, Nathan has probably researched it, likely already has a folder of relevant photos on his desktop, and definitely learned a lot of interesting facts to go with those images. Whereas most well-read adults have bookshelves full of classic literature, Nathan’s stacks are composed of National Geographic and TIME special editions and a curated section of first-grade readers (for inspiration). If you prefer picture books to wordy novels, listicles by Nathan are right up your alley.
The printing press is one of the more influential early technologies. Before it, most European texts were printed using a form of woodblock printing adapted from the Chinese. Otherwise, they would be manually copied by hand, which made books labor-intensive and, as a result, very expensive. Then, sometime between 1440 and 1450, goldsmith and craftsman, Johannes Gutenberg began experimenting with a more efficient method. He was able to make the printing process more efficient by breaking traditional wooden blocks into lower and uppercase letters, punctuation marks and other symbols. He had these cast as movable blocks in various metals. Additionally, his team also invented the ink to use linseed oil and soot and replace water-based inks. Ultimately, though, it was his adaptation of the screw mechanisms from wine presses for use in his printing press that prompted the mass production of books. His first major publication, the Bible, brought both faith and literacy to more people.
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