The History of Printing
Did you know that the printing industry is actually thousands of years old? It's hard to believe, but the idea of printing traces all the way back to Ancient Mesopotamia around 3500 BC! Check out our "History of Printing" timeline to learn all about how printing developed from 3500 BC to today.
History of Printing Timeline
- 3500 BC: Mesopotamians use engraved cylinder seals to roll impressions onto wet clay tablets.
- 3000 BC: Papyrus, a writing material woven from papyrus plants, is produced in ancient Egypt.
- 2500 BC: Ink is developed in Egypt and China using fine carbon particles, or lamp black.
- AD 105: Paper is invented in China by Cai Lun, and it takes 1,000 years to reach Europe.
- 200: Woodblock printing, a printing technique that uses ink-soaked carved blocks, is developed in China.
- 868: The earliest known printed book, The Diamond Sutra, is block printed in China.
- 960: Screen printing, a printing technique using stenciling, first appears as a recognizable form in China.
- 1041: In China, Bi Sheng creates the first known movable type system out of porcelain.
- 1430: Intaglio, a printmaking process in which ink is printed from recessed areas of a plate, emerges.
- 1440: In Germany, Johannes Gutenberg invents the first printing press.
- 1642: Mezzotint, a halftone printing method, is invented, allowing images to be printed with different shades.
- 1773: Aquatint, a variety of intaglio which allows for the creation of a broad range of tonal values, gains popularity.
- 1796: Lithography printing, a process that uses grease and water, is invented in Germany by Alois Senefelder.
- 1890: Flexography, a printing process which uses a flexible 3D relief plate, is invented in England.
- 1968: Dot matrix printers, which use ink-soaked pins, are invented and dominate the market through the 1990s.
- 1969: The first laser printer is invented at Xerox by Gary Starkweather.
- 1972: Thermal printing, which uses heat-sensitive paper and a thermal print head, is developed.
- 1976: Inkjet printers, which can produce digital images using small droplets of ink, are developed.
- 1983: Chuck Hall invents the first 3D printer. He is inducted into the Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 2014.
- 2003: The first wireless printer is introduced.
- 2016: The printing industry reaches $898 billion and growing!
Here at Ziptape Label ID Systems, we have over 30 years of printing and label manufacturing experience. We offer a wide variety of both cable identification labels and product labels, including custom printed product labels using flexography, laser printable labels, thermal transfer printable labels and jewelry tags, and dot matrix printable labels.
For inquiries regarding our printing and/or manufacturing capabilities, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us anytime at labelidsystems.com.