Clay stereotype mould reproducing Velleyre's method of 1730.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Stereotype was invented in Germany at the beginning of the 15th century, but little progres was made until much later. In 1725 William Ged (1690-1749) designed a method of making metal printing plates which could be re-used. Gabriel Valleyre, working at the same time, used molten copper in a clay mould to produce typeface.