The first type of printing press was invented by a Chinese man named Bi Sheng. In 1440, Johannes Gutenberg of Germany improved upon the original printing press. Gutenberg is commonly credited as the inventor of the movable printing press.
The invention of the printing press resulted in the ability to produce large quantities of books in much shorter amounts of time than handwritten documents could be produced. Early printing presses were typically constructed of wood or metal. They allowed for precise and even distribution of ink onto paper or cloth by pressing the material onto an ink-covered surface. Gutenberg's improvements on the printing press allowed for much easier production of books, causing the price of printed literature to decrease and become more affordable.