How was literacy in previous centuries (science in the 19th century)?

The modern concept of literacy is directly related to the invention of the 15th century type mobile printing press. It was only as a result of the Industrial Revolution of the mid-19th century that newspapers and books became available to all classes of an industrialized society. Until then, only a small percentage of the population were literate, since only rich people and institutions could provide materials. Even, the cost of newspapers and books is a barrier to universal literacy in industrialized countries.

Remember: The process of learning a person lasts a lifetime. The value of the same knowledge for different people may be different, it is determined by their individual characteristics and needs. Therefore, knowledge is always needed at any age and position.