Stereotyping as a process was invented in Edinburgh by William Ged. William was a goldsmith, who in 1725 invented a process in which a whole page of type was cast in a single mould so that a printing plate could be made from it. Until the invention of the stereotype printing, type had to be reset if a second printing was to be made.
The invention of the stereotype led to the mass-producing of printing plates. This enabled multiple copies to be sent to other printers and newspapers, enabling larger numbers of identical images to be reproduced.
The stereotype was predominantly used in newspaper, and other high-speed press runs. It are made by locking the type columns, illustration plates, and advertising plates of a complete page in a form and molding a matrix, or mat, of paper-mâché or similar material to it; the dried mat is used as a mold to cast the stereotype from hot metal.
A stereotype plate is much stronger and more durable under the press run than would be the composed page of type. It is now gradually being replaced, however, by photopolymer (photosensitive plastic) and lithographic