In the 1890s the city of Mainz declared his official and symbolic date of birth to be June 24, 1400. John Lienhard, technology historian, says "Most of Gutenberg's early life is a mystery.
In a 1978 book by a historian that purports to rank the 100 most influential persons in history, Gutenberg comes in at number 8, after T'sai Lun and before Christopher Columbus.
In 1997, Time–Life magazine picked Gutenberg's invention as the most important of the second millennium.
Four prominent US journalists did the same in their 1998 resume, ranking his impact high in shaping the millennium.
In 1999, the A&E Network ranked Gutenberg no.
In 1999, the A&E Network ranked Gutenberg the No.
However, the type used in Gutenberg's earliest work shows other variations. In 2001, the physicist Blaise Agüera y Arcas and Princeton librarian Paul Needham, used digital scans of a Papal bull in the Scheide Library, Princeton, to carefully compare the same letters (types) appearing in different parts of the printed text.
A similar suggestion was made by Nash in 2004.
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