Illustrated History of Chinese Science & Technology
The Story of Printing looks at the origin and development of printing in ancient China, and how thriving Chinese culture helped advance printing techniques. More than two thousand years ago various schools of thoughts vied for attention in the country, and their propagation demanded a more efficient way of writing. By the time the imperial examination system was established, the growing demand by scholars for studying Confucian classics meant that a method of quickly copying books needed to be found. Inspired by paper rubbings of engraved stone steles, ancient Chinese invented woodblock printing. In the Song Dynasty some one thousand years ago, Bi Sheng tried to tackle the issue of frequent mistakes in carving printing blocks and gaining higher efficiency by inventing printing using movable type. If paper offered an economical and convenient medium for the spread of knowledge, then printing added wings to this process, breaking the boundary of time and space for the transmission of culture.