China is the birthplace of woodblock, copperplate and non-metal-type printing, movable metal-type technique, as the product of combination of copperplate and non-metal-type technique, also originated in China. However, the problem on the origin of metal-type has not well been solved for a long time. This paper proved that metal-type was cast and used for paper money printing in China since the early 12th century, copper-type and tin-type technique was further developed during the 13th to 14th centuries, on the basis of investigation of excavated findings, textual research and scientific judgment. Finally a comparative research of the early metal-type technique in China, Korea and Europe was briefly discussed. A lot of unearthed material evidence were provided here.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Pan Jixing, On the origin of printing in the light of new archaeological discoveries,Chinese Science Bulletin, Beijing, 1997, 42(12): 976.
Gao Ciruo, Introduction on some Buddhist images cast of bronze collected in Baoji City Museum,Kaogu yu wenwu or Archaeology and Cultural Relics (in Chinese), Xi’an, 1986(5): 71.
Wei Yuewang, Qiao Xiaojin, Yao Suominget al., A Compilation of Pictures of Chinese Ancient Paper Money, Beijing: China Finance Publishing House, 1992, 26–27.
Cai Meibiao, On the origin of copper-type printing,Guangming Daily (in Chinese), Beijing, 9 Jan., 1954.
Huang Jin,Jinhua Huang xiansheng wenji orCollected Essays of Mr. Huang of Jinhua, ch. 41, Shanghai: Commerial Press, 1929.
Jin Bodong, The extant earliest tinplate,Tongfang bowu or Oriental Antiquities (in Chinese), Hangzhou, 1996(1): 157.
Wang Zhen,Nong shu (Treatise on Agriculture), Shanghai: Shanghai Chinese Classics Publishing House, 1994, 760.
Pan Jixing, A comparative research of early movable metal-type printing technique in China, Korea and Europe, Speech at the International Symposium on Printing History in the East and West (Seoul, Korea, 30 Sept., 1997).
Sohn Pow-key,Early Korean Typography, Seoul: Po-chin-cai Co. Ltd., 1982, 129–133.
Zhou Shimin, A study in the composition of theliuji (“6 kinds of alloys”) in theKaogong Ji or the Artificers’ Records,Huaxue tongbao orChemistry Monthly (in Chinese), 1978(3): 54.
Wang Jin, Zhang Hongzhao, Liang Jinet al., Metallic Chemistry and Alchemy in Ancient China (in Chinese), Sharighai: Science and Technology Press, 1957, 88–89.
Chon Hye-bong,Hanguk sejihak (in Korean) orBibliographical Research on Korean Literatures, Seoul: Min-eoun-sa (People’s Voice Press), 1997, 264–267.
von Strömer, Wolfgang, Hans Friedel von Seckingen, der Bankier der Strassburger Gutenberg Geselschaften,Gutenberg Jahrbuch, Mainz, 1983, 45–48.
Martin, Henri-Jean,The History and Power of Writing (tr. Lydia Cochrane), Chcago: University of Chicago Press, 1994, 217–219.
Martin, Henri-Jean, The development, spread and impact of printing from movable type in the 15th and 16th century Europe, Speech at the Internatinonal Symposium on the Printing History in the East and West (Seoul, Korea, 29 Sept., 1997).
Hanebutt-Benz, Eva, Features of Gutenberg printing process, Speech at the International Forum on the Printing Culture (Ch’ongju, Korea, 2 Oct., 1997).
Pan Jixing, From Khanbaliq to Mainz,China Histortcal Materials of Science and Technology (in Chinese), 1998, 19(3): 62.
About this article
Cite this article
Pan, J. On the origin of movable metal-type technique. Chin. Sci. Bull. 43, 1681–1692 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02883966