Johannes Gutenberg's upgrade of the centuries-old moveable type press in the middle of the fifteenth century stands as one of the most significant technological advances ever known. For the first time in human history, the production and dissemination of books - of all kinds, in all languages - no longer required a skilled copyist and many patient months of work. Now a book could be set in a few weeks, and copied innumerable times in a very short period. As a result, books got cheaper and were readily available to the newly emerging "middle class".