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Brother celebrates the life of Johannes Gutenberg - the ‘father’ of printing

As a print and technology specialist with a proud 100-year legacy of innovation, Brother is celebrating the achievements of Johannes Gutenberg - the man who introduced printing to Europe.

As the ‘Brother’ of print, we are paying tribute to the publishing pioneer recognised for his role in starting the printing revolution. After developing mechanical moving type printing around 1439, Johannes Gutenberg’s contribution to the evolution of the printed word firmly earned him the moniker of the ‘father’ of print.

Today, over 500 years after his death, a spirit of ‘familial’ recognition seems a most fitting way to pay tribute to a remarkable man’s achievements in February, the month that marks his passing.

Gutenberg's most notable work lay in the creation of the “Forty-Two-Line” Bible, the first book ever printed in Europe using movable type. The book was acclaimed for its high-end aesthetic and technical quality.

Johannes was thoroughly innovative as he continually experimented with printing, perfecting and altering his product. He even developed an oil-based ink that would better adhere to his metal type. Ultimately, his introduction of the printing press created the mass production of books, making it economically viable for printers and readers alike.

Brother’s remarkable story began over a century ago with two brothers Masayoshi and Jitsuichi Yasui in Japan. Sewing machines were the first manufacturing and exporting success, from which the company began to harness its expertise in motor design and manufacturing technology. Brother went on to introduce new products to the home electrical market including domestic knitting machines, washing machine, fan, iron, blender, vacuum cleaner and hairdryer.

Brother’s determination to take on new business challenges while keeping a finger on the pulse and developing and applying core technologies, led to the start of a rich history in the print form, beginning with typewriters.

Brother moved into this market segment in 1961 with the manufacture of an initial run of 183 units of the JP1 alphabetical portable typewriter. By the 1980s it had sold some 10 million typewriters, and tens of millions of manual and electric typewriters by the 1990s.

Models dubbed the Valiant, the Wizard Truetypeand the Bradford proved popular then and stand as retro design classics to this day, fondly celebrated by fans of typewriter technology.

Today, Brother’s portfolio reflects a constant journey of motor and technology innovation with products spanning printers, all-in-one devices and labelling machines to HD web conferencing solutions and its AiRScouter wearable technology – all considerable strides in evolution from the brand’s origins in sewing machines.

Brother is proud of its history of innovation and excited about where it’s going to. It continues to uphold its reputation in the sewing machine segment and celebrates a robust reputation as a global print and technology specialist.

Gutenberg was driven by a desire to optimise his print technique for the good of the people. Brother’s history of innovation is underlined by its motto ‘At your side’ – a commitment to listen to the needs of the customer and respond through its research and development. Innovating on behalf of the people is a seemingly core value shared by both the ‘father’ and ‘Brother’ of print alike.