The printing press was invented in Europe in the mid-15th century. It is generally believed that the first printing press was developed by Johannes Gutenberg, a German goldsmith and inventor, around the year 1440. Gutenberg is credited with developing the first movable type printing system, which allowed for the mass production of printed materials. Before the printing press, books and other written materials were produced by hand, a process that was time-consuming and expensive. The invention of the printing press revolutionized the way books were produced and made it possible for written works to be disseminated more widely and more quickly.