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Johann Fust

Goldsmith, lawyer, and financial backer to Gutenberg.

Around 1450 Fust lent the inventor 800 guilders to bring his printing process to perfection; in 1452 the latter requested the same amount again to complete his work. In 1455, when still no books had been produced, Fust sued Gutenberg for 2,026 guilders (the amount owed, plus interest). Gutenberg lost in court, and had to hand over his equipment.

Fust took on Gutenberg’s apprentice, Peter Schoeffer, and as Fust & Schoeffer the pair published several extremely fine books, including the famous 42-line Bible (1456) and the Psalter (1457). They were the first to make printing a successful business.

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