Posted by R. Berg on April 25, 2003
In Reply to: Wine press posted by ESC on April 25, 2003
: : : Hi,
: : : I don't understand what the phrase 'with a wine press converted for the task' in the following paragraph. Could anyone do me a favor?
: : :
: : : By utilizing a process whereby each letter was moulded individually and was then continuously reused, he was able to produce texts - most famously a 42-line Bible of 1282 two-column pages around 1457-8- with a wine press converted for the task.
: : : Thank you a lot.
: : I cannot swear that the following is the exact answer, but wine and cider presses of centruies ago operated by a large central screw which was turned by a transverse handle and which forced the lid of the press into the fruit to pulp it and squeeze the juice out. I have seen printing done in a similar fashion with the screw flattening a plate onto the material to be printed upon. A wine press, minus the sides to keep the fruit in would be entirely suitable for that kind of printing. the inked plate with the image or moveable type would be set up on top of material to be impressed, be it paper of hatever and then the screw handle turned to press the plate and ink onto the paper - which would ensure that the maximum amount of the image was pressed into the paper. a "screw press" as I think they are called is still used in certain traditional or artisan liquor production such as cider and perry. I think wine is usually done on a larger scale.
: : I hope that helps.
: From inventorsmuseum.com
: Over 500 years ago in 1450, one man's ingenuity eventually unleashed a slew of new ideas, information and insights to uncharted territories around the globe. A German artisan from a small town called Mainz, Johannes Guttenberg originated a moveable type method that printers used even in the 20th century.
: Guttenberg punched 264 characters into the ends of steel punches, which were inserted into copper blanks. His next innovation was transforming a wine press into a machine suitable for printing, and using, heated oil, resin and soap, Guttenberg made ink. The printer's fame only grew after the printing of his never-forgotten Gutenberg Bible, a piece which highlights the artfulness of the innovative printer's work.
Here is a different kind of explanation. If you are learning English, you might need to know that two words are elided (left out) in "with a wine press converted for the task." That phrase is short for "with a wine press THAT WAS converted for the task." "For the task" means "in order to get the job done," or "for the purpose of printing."
To sum up: A wine press is a machine for pressing grapes to extract the juice. Gutenberg invented the printing press by making some changes in a wine press. That is, he converted a wine press into a printing press.