The printing press is considered to be one of the greatest inventions of all time. It kickstarted a revolution and transformed the way ideas are communicated across the globe.
Heres a fun stat about the printing press as it relates to Tesla Inc. TSLA CEO Elon Musk, the worlds richest person.
What Happened: The Gutenberg printing press was invented in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg in Germany.
Ten years later, the printing machine was ready for commercial use. Among the first items printed by Gutenberg were calendars and pamphlets. In 1452, Gutenberg began printing a Bible, with an estimated 180 copies printed. An estimated 21 complete copies have survived.
The printing press would also become integral in printing books as well as money.
Now, printing money with the Gutenberg printing press is illegal. However, even if you were able to do it, it still might not make you the richest person in the world.
Catching Elon Musk: Musk is currently worth an estimated $246 billion due to his owning a 15% of Tesla (155,039,144 shares as of August 2022) and around 40% ownership of SpaceX.
At $246 billion, Musk is significantly ahead of Amazon.com Inc. AMZN founder Jeff Bezos, who is in second place with $151 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Musk has also passed several notable investors and company founders over the years to top the list. At one point in 2021, Musk was worth so much he could buy every MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL team based on current valuations.
Heres A Crazy Stat: If you bought a Gutenberg printing press in 1440 and started printing $1 million every day, you still wouldnt be worth as much as Musk.
The dollar wasnt around until the Mint Act established the official U.S. coinage system in 1792. For the purposes of this hypothetical wealth building, let’s say you could print U.S. dollars in 1440. Heres the math:
- The printing press was invented 582 years ago
- Depending on the date it was invented, it could have been 212,674 days ago (based on Jan 1. 1440 and Sept. 1, 2022)
- 212,674 x $1 million daily gets a total of $212.67 billion
- That falls short of the $246 billion Musk is currently valued at.
Its crazy to think that Musk is worth more than someone printing $1 million every day since 1440, but thats what history tells us.
Image: Wikimedia Commons, Johannes Gutenberg, Illustration, 1904