Comment by Geldner:

Close this window


Whereas according to Fust's complaint, the 1600 guilders he claims to have lent were purely a loan, subject to interest at 6 percent, Gutenberg's answer sheds more light on the financial transactions between Fust and Gutenberg, correcting Fust's statements to a considerable degree. Gutenberg begins by claiming that Fust did not pay first 800 guilders in full and not at once. This money was intended for the manufacture of his geczuge (printing apparatus), which was to be pledged to Fust as collateral. And although the contract stated that these 800 guilders were subject to 6 percent interest, he claims that Fust waived their payment in a verbal assurance. The second 800 guilders, on the other hand, which were intended for the work on the books, were not an interest-bearing loan but a capital contribution by Fust for execution of the work on the books. Fust is claimed to have promised to pay this second sum of 800 guilders in yearly installments of 300 guilders (for servants' pay, domestic costs, parchment, paper, printer's ink, etc.). He states his willingness to account for these 800 guilders. Should their agreement come to an end, he is to pay back the (first) 800 guilders to Fust after which his printing equipment should cease to be collateral. He claims to owe no interest or compound interest.