THE GOLDEN BOGK

must answer that we lack conclusive evidence making possible a categorical reply. We can add, however, that much direct evidence, and ninety per cent of the direct and circumstantial taken together, dictates the ascrip- tion of the honor to Johann Gutenberg of Strasbourg and Mainz.

Before going into detail regarding Gutenberg it may be well to state that the credit for the invention has been disputed with much acrimony, the argument being largely nationalistic in character. At one time or another almost every country has had some contender for the honor. The main question at issue, however, is whether printing with movable types was invented by Lourens Janszoon Coster at Haarlem, Holland, somewhere in the vicinity of 14.30 or by Johann Gutenberg at Strasbourg or Mainz, Germany, in the neighborhood of I44. 5.

The Dutch claim was not advanced until some time after the invention is supposed to have taken place. The first report to lend it color appeared in the “Cologne Chronicle” printed at Cologne in i499. In it we find the following passage, following Pollard’s translation or

paraphrase:

This right worthy art was invented first of all in Germany, at Mainz, on the Rhine. And that is a great honour to the German nation that such ingenious men are found there. This happened in the year of our Lord I440, and from that time

until 14.50 the art and all that pertains to it was investigated, and in I450, which was a Golden Year, men began to print, and the first book that was printed was the Bible in Latin, and this was printed with a letter as large as that now used in missals.

Although this art was invented at Mainz, as far as regards

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