At Towne Mailer, we print thousands of documents every day–not to mention that we print information onto envelopes, postcards, and other types of mailers. It’s hard for us to imagine a world without the printed word or the printed image, or how humankind could have gotten as far as we have without it.

This week, we will share a few fun facts about printing and printers, from stamps used in ancient Mesopotamia to the advent of 3D printers in modern times.

  • The very first known instances of printing took place in Mesopotamia, where artists rolled round seals onto clay tablets, creating images that could be copied again and again.
  • Lower case letters and upper case letters are named for where printers kept their loose letters in their case.
  • Chinese monks invented paper in 100 B.C. Moveable type was invented by the Chinese more than 1100 years later, in 1041 A.D.
  • Johannes Gutenburg is traditionally credited with the invention of the modern, movable-type printing press in 1439. However, similar forms of moveable type printing were already common in China and Korea. The first book printed by Gutenburg was the Gutenburg Bible.
  • Benjamin Franklin, John Dunlap and the Wright Brothers were all printers in addition to their other accomplishments.
  • The phrase, “Mind your p’s and q’s” developed as a warning to those setting letters in movable type printing presses not to confuse similar-looking letters.
  • 3D printing was invented in 1984, when Chuck Hull invented a process in which UV lasers were used to solidify photopolymer that created 3D parts layer by layer. This non-computer 3D printing method lead to the formation of Hull’s company, Materialise.
  • The first laser printer was invented in 1969 by Gary Stalkweather, an employee at Xerox. The first commercial printer, the Xerox Star 8010was released in 1981 and cost $17,000.
  • Today, we have the ability to 3D print with a wide and surprising variety of materials, including plastics, gold, silver, titanium, wood, ceramics, and more. We have used 3D printers to manufacture objects as large as houses and cars!

Share your own fun facts about printing below in the comments!

We Love Printing At Towne Mailer – Request Your Free Quote Today

At Towne Mailer we are passionate about helping business print, process, and mail their statements, invoices, and letters–and we can often complete printing and mailing jobs for less than companies spend in-house. To learn more about our services, talk to our team, or request a free job quote, please call us today: (877) 882-6245.