It’s hard to believe that a 15th century wine press – a device used to crush grapes – is part of the reason why you’re able to read this book. But as strange as it may seem, there is a connection. In the 1400s, after a failed business venture, entrepreneur Johannes Gutenberg decided to explore the technology wine merchants used in their businesses. Gutenberg’s previous venture involved manufacturing ‘magical’ mirrors for religious people, so alcohol was quite the deviation. Still, it wasn’t wine he was interested in; Gutenberg had other motives.1 For more than 4,000 years books were produced and copied by hand. The process was painstaking. One book alone could take more than a year to produce and only the rich could afford to buy one. Gutenberg saw this as an opportunity.
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