Thursday, February 21, 2008

America's Growing Literacy Rate Spawns New Technology

"Literature in America was, if not born in the marketplace, at least raised there from infancy."

With literacy growing fast due to population growth, and new technology aiding in the efforts for a now truly innovative way to produce text was well on it's way and rapidly as well. America was fast and had a greater demand to produce books, texts, etc. over its British counterpart. Starr credits the further development of schooling, and the reading public for the rapid growth of new press technology. I found it quite interesting, the whole time line of how this started. With the birth of literacy spawned engineering in the minds of inventors and money catchers. Literacy created jobs, and new technological advances in print press.
I found the technology side interesting because up until returning to school I worked for a printing company called Clintrak where we printed on labels for major pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squib, Novartis, etc who were developing drugs for clinical trials, and needed labels for their studies, and case report forms. We printed on major presses using interweaving paper to create the first booklet press worth two million dollars. We also worked on smaller machines for single ply jobs which would crank out 300,000 labels per day. One machine I even worked on for a while would make the company 10,000 dollars every hour and the machine itself was worth 30,000 dollars so it paid for it self, and my salary in about 7 hours. The history behind how all the advances in print technology interested me from how it was just strictly plates and ink to what I was using in 2007 known as cold fusion printing. We have come a long way.


At 4:18 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A very good post. Nice connection between the material and your own experience.

You have outlined a key relationship between demand and innovation. The promotion of literacy through education creates a demand, a market that leads to innovation and enterprise.

The advances in print technology recently are astounding.


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