Wang Zhen (official)

Wang Zhen (Official)

Wang Zhen (official)

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This article is about Wang Zhen, agronomist and inventor. For other historical figures with this name, see Wang Zhen .

Wang Zhen (, fl. 1290 – 1333) was an official of the Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368 AD) of China. He is credited with the invention of the first wooden movable type printing in the world, while his predecessor of the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279 AD), Bi Sheng (990 – 1051 AD), invented the world's first earthenware movable type printing. His illustrated agricultural treatise was also one of the most advanced of its day, covering a wide range of equipment and technologies available in the late 13th and early 14th century.

Life and works

Wang Zhen was born in Shandong province, and spent many years as an official of both Anhui and Jiangxi provinces. From the years 1290 to 1301, he was a magistrate for Jingde, Anhui province, where he invented the use of wooden movable type printing. The invention of wooden movable type was described in Wang Zhen's publication of 1313 AD, known as the Nong Shu (農書), or Book of Agriculture. Although the title describes the main focus of the work, it incorporated much more information on a wide variety of subjects that was not limited to the scope of agriculture. Wang Zhen's Nong Shu of...
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