I chose this picture to reflect McLuhan’s pronouncement that “movable type was archetype and prototype for all subsequent industrial development.”
The printing press was a major shift in text technology that changed the ‘authority’ structure of society completely and revolutionized information dissemination and storage, and started the way toward mass literacy. The technology of the moveable type press, according to McLuhan, determined the models for mass production, the ‘repetition’ of production in industry, weaving looms, food production, agriculture, photography… and more… quite a claim. He contends that print demolished the old traditional cultures, still mainly oral, governed by community and relationships. Many of his insights about the impacts of technology on society are borne out by the the amazing economic growth and expansion made possible by the Industrial Revolution, but also the horrors of it.
McLuhen, Marshall. From “The Playboy Interview: Marshall McLuhan, Playboy Magazine (March 1969 © , 1994 by Playboy. Retrieved from:
Movable type image retrieved from google images:
Sheila, so true, many of the “top technologicals” lists floating around in the cloud place the printing press in the top ten technological advancements of all time.