Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Wayback View – Stereotype plate making

A trip to our local charity thrift shop this week turned up a surprising treasure:This is a paper matrix that was used to cast the plate for the September 27, 1971 front page of our local newspaper. This close up shows how deep the original halftone image (on the left) and type (on the right) were pressed into the paper matrix that would later be covered in molten metal to form the actual printing plate:
Here is a short video clip from 1950 that shows the process of making a newspaper stereotype plate from a paper matrix.
Preview images from the video

Please press the play arrow to view the video. Note that it may stop for a moment while the video buffers in the background.


  1. My job in the sixties and seventies, there can't be many stereotypers left. Imagine breath lead, zinc and antonomy in nine hours a day

  2. I spent a decade as a stereotyper. From the sixties. There can't be many of us left. Especially considering the fumes of lead zinc and antonomy we inhaled. The Lancashire Evening Post once boasted the fastest newspaper produced, published by Guinness book of records. That was my colleagues using Autocast machines producing stereo plates.