Here lies a brief history of books and the publishing world, beginning at the beginning. Our tour starts with the earliest known engraved books, ends with where technology and the publishing industry are now, and pictorially depicts all of the historic steps in between.
(Note: the majority of our information was obtained during weeks of intense research through highly academic and professional channels, most of which can be verified at wikipedia.com) Please, no flash photography. Make sure that your harness is securely fastened, keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times, and enjoy your scrolling!
3000 BC – Earliest Known Books
Earliest known books – clay tablets of Mesopotamia and the papyrus rolls of Egypt.
1300 BC – First Bound Books
Chinese begin using books made of wood and bamboo strips.
300 BC – Library of Alexandria
Ancient Library of Alexandria opens. Books flourish in Egypt.
8 BC – Paper
Earliest recorded use of paper as a writing medium by the Chinese.
220 AD – Woodblock Prints
Earliest known woodblock printed fragments from China.
1450 – Gutenberg Press
Johannes Gutenberg improves movable type printing.
1796 – Lithograph
Lithography invented by Aloys Senefelder enabling printing of high quality images.
1843 – Steam Powered Printing Press
Steam powered rotary printing press invented which reduces cost and brings printing to the masses.
1886 – Linotype Machine
Linotype machine is invented which revolutionizes typesetting and reduces labor. Invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler, this is regarded as the greatest advance in printing since the development of the movable type 400 years earlier.
1892 – Four Color Rotary Press
With the invention of the four color rotary press, books could be printed faster in full color.
1983 – Desktop Publishing
With the boon in computers, publishing starts to go digital.
1995 – Amazon.com
Amazon goes online as a bookstore selling physical books.
1996 – E-Readers
Jacobson and Cominskey patent E-Ink technology.
1996 – Online Newspapers
Traditional newspapers begin developing online versions for the web.
1999 – Blogger
Blogger is founded and self-publishing on the internet begins to take off.
2004 – Facebook
The beginning of Facebook which quickly becomes a hub for social networking and information sharing.
2006 – Twitter
Twitter debuts and gives a new meaning to short form publishing.
2014 – HBE Publishing
Using over 5000 years of technological advances to turn your creative dream into a reality.
We hope you enjoyed our historic and factually-verifiable tour! Please see the menu above to exit the tour and return to our main page, and remain seated until the browser has come to a full and complete stop.