Lead: During the late 1430s in the Rhine valley city of Strasbourg, France, an obscure gem cutter began secretly working on an invention that would change the face of the modern world.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden was born into a patrician family in Mainz, Germany, around 1395. There is little documentation on his personal life, an ironic fate for one whose influence over modern history is almost universal. As an adult he changed his name, assuming that of one of the family’s estates. Johannes Gutenberg worked as a gem cutter and goldsmith; he possibly learned the skills of engraving from an uncle, who was master of a mint.