Cover image for Publishing Plates: Stereotyping and Electrotyping in Nineteenth-Century US Print Culture By Jeffrey M. Makala

Publishing Plates

Stereotyping and Electrotyping in Nineteenth-Century US Print Culture

Jeffrey M. Makala

COMING IN NOVEMBER

$109.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-09403-8
Coming in November

214 pages
6" × 9"
12 b&w illustrations
2022

Penn State Series in the History of the Book

Publishing Plates

Stereotyping and Electrotyping in Nineteenth-Century US Print Culture

Jeffrey M. Makala

“An important, interesting, and thorough contribution to our knowledge of stereotyping and electrotyping and the history of their industrial implementation and economic impact in America. Publishing Plates contains extensive references to original sources, comprehensive narrative histories of the Carey company and the American Bible Society, and fascinating anecdotes that flesh out the importance of stereotyping and electrotyping.”

 

  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Bio
  • Subjects
First realized commercially in the late eighteenth century, stereotyping—the creation of solid printing plates cast from moveable type—fundamentally changed the way in which books were printed. Publishing Plates chronicles the technological and cultural shifts that resulted from the introduction of this technology in the United States.

The commissioning of plates altered shop practices, distribution methods, and even the author-publisher relationship. Drawing on archival records, Jeffrey M. Makala traces the first uses of stereotyping in Philadelphia in 1812, its adoption by printers in New York and Philadelphia, and its effects on the trade. He looks closely at the printers, typefounders, authors, and publishers who watched small, regional, artisan-based printing traditions rapidly evolve, clearing the way for the industrialized publishing industry that would emerge in the United States at midcentury. Through case studies of the publisher Mathew Carey and the American Bible Society, one of the first publishers of cheap Bibles, Makala explores the origins of the American publishing industry and American mass media. In addition, Makala examines changes in the notion of authorship, copyright, and language and their effects on writers and literary circles, giving examples from the works and lives of Herman Melville, Sojourner Truth, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman, among others. 

Incorporating perspectives from the fields of book history, the history of technology, material culture studies, and American studies, this book presents a rich, detailed history of an innovation that transformed American culture.

“An important, interesting, and thorough contribution to our knowledge of stereotyping and electrotyping and the history of their industrial implementation and economic impact in America. Publishing Plates contains extensive references to original sources, comprehensive narrative histories of the Carey company and the American Bible Society, and fascinating anecdotes that flesh out the importance of stereotyping and electrotyping.”

Jeffrey M. Makala is Associate Director for Special Collections and University Archivist at Furman University. He is the coeditor of In Dogs We Trust: An Anthology of American Dog Literature.