Bi Sheng

Bi Sheng (畢昇, 1052 died) was the inventor of the pressure with mobile type characters between 1041 and 1048 in China. Its pressure type characters were manufactured from burned clay/tone.

Bi Sheng was active in the trade as dress salesmen. Closer data to its descent and its life were not noted.

A detailed description of its invention with technical details was held by Shen Huo (沈活) in its work Mengxi Bitan (夢溪筆談).

Bi Sheng experimented with mobile, individually manufactured piston rams. It arranged it on an iron form to whole texts and fixed it with a layer wax and resin. Then one printed. If one wanted to again use the indications, one heated the Eisenplatte up, until the melting wax and resin released the forms again.

Wang Zhen (王禎) inserted the first mobile type characters from wood into China.

From there it was only a small step to manufacture the individual wood type characters equal in size in order to be able to always build it up in standardized blocks.

Nevertheless has itself printing with mobile type characters in China up to the exit 19. Century really to intersperse cannot. The reason is obvious: Traditional printing with whole wooden plates required enormous staple, but the thousands and thousands of Chinese characters prevented a simple and above all fast composition of pressure plates from mobile type characters.


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