Before the invention of printing, professional scribes copied manuscripts by hand. Woodblock printing, movable type, etching, and other inventions preceded the printing press, in our efforts to automate such a labor-intensive task as the duplication and production of text documents.
It would be hard to make a living rewriting books with pen nowadays. Printers and the internet make it easy and cheap to reproduce text documents or ship books to your house.
If we were to travel back in time and gifted a professional copyist a printer, they'd probably lit it on fire. I wonder how their life would change if, instead of burning the printer, they decided to use it.
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