Autocaster Stereotype

I believe this is an Autocaster-Stereotype. I was wondering if they have any value or use to people in the trade these days. Also did you have to use an Autocaster machine exclusively with these?

Thank you.

image: Autocaster - 01.jpg

Autocaster - 01.jpg

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It looks like the stereotype flong that I have and I cast on an easykaster number 3. I don’t know what an autocaster looks like.
As to value, I picked up a pickup load of the news paper monthly boxes of flongs for next to nothing.
I could of taken the lot for free but I paid for them so the copy right would transfer to me and I could sell the prints.


I am actually stunned that anyone would think that just because they paid a few dollars for flongs that the “copy right” would transfer to them.

The copyright of the images have probably long expired so you probably have nothing to worry about, but on the chance that some of them have not expired they certainly did not transfer to you simply because you “own” some of the flongs.



Fool proof
I misstated what I purchased before.
In my discussion with the news paper (the Phillips-burg mail) where I purchased the stereotypes, the editor stated he purchased them from a newspaper in Anaconda so that he could use them in his news paper.
What I concluded from that discussion was that I did not purchase the copy-write but I did purchase an extension of the newspapers contract to cast the flongs and sell the resulting prints as long as I state the copy owners information on the card.

One of the companies that produced the flongs is still in business in New York so it seems like a good idea to credit them for the art work.

Items that were issued to the public without copyright are generally copyright free, but that doesn’t mean that a large corporation with an army of lawyers couldn’t stop you from using it if they wanted to. I doubt that you will ever make enough money to get their attention, but there are copyright attorneys on retainer that are paid to search for violations.


The copy wright symbol appears on the finished casting in a place suggesting it should be printed.

Just because you own the flongs doesn’t mean that you own the copyright. The copyright is held by the owner of the company that is represented, not the owner of the plate. Besides, there is almost no market for old advertising plates, or even much for the images they produce. There are millions of pages of advertising from old magazines that are sold all over this country from all kinds of different vendors. Stereotypes are the least interesting of all plates offered for sale on eBay. I’m not sure where you think you have a market.


I don’t think I have a market ,never said I had a market.
I just find the process interesting and wanted to learn how it was done.

You said, “I could of taken the lot for free but I paid for them so the copy right would transfer to me and I could sell the prints.” This leads one to believe that you are planning on selling them. My mistake to actually read what you wrote and think that’s actually what you meant.

Would Ford, the original copyright holders, sue you for making a stereotype from this mat and then printing it?. (Flong is actually the raw material, once molded from a form it is a mat.) Who knows?
Corporate legal thought is not part of the rational world, and how they respond would probably depend on how you used the image. Mention Henry Ford as an early admirer of Hitler and an antisemite, you might get some unwanted legal attention. Say how much you love Ford V-8s, you might get a free commuter mug.
There is at least one person on these lists now trying to make use of the stereotype process. If there is any success, I have a lot of Smith-Corona advertising mats to loan. As for their actual utility…

I have many of these moulds, flongs or mats (I’m afraid to call them the wrong name at this point) and would like to make some lead or zinc castings from just a few of them. Is there someone out there I could send these to and have them made?

To answer your original question, you can cast this mat on any flat stereotype box. Your mention of “autocaster” refers to the “Publishers Autocaster Service Company.” They ran a service for small newspapers whereby each newspaper acquired a flat stereotype casting box. The company would send a supply of matrices on a regular basis with ads, comics, seasonal artwork, etc. Much like the clip art books of a later era, except it was mats that were sent. Any medium sized newspaper would already have had their own mangle and casting equipment, but they might have subscribed to a mat service. The term “autocaster” also applied to large automatic stereotype casting machines used in large daily newspapers. These machines would automatically cool, cast, cut, and bevel plates and send them on the way to the pressroom by conveyor. I have a flat stereotype box, and there are others who also have one, but I have never attempted to use it.

I actually found some literature in my collection of printing items pertaining to Autocaster. They even had a gas powered model.

image: Gasoline 3-Column Autocaster - 01.jpg

Gasoline 3-Column Autocaster - 01.jpg

image: Electric 3-Column Autocaster - 01.jpg

Electric 3-Column Autocaster - 01.jpg

image: Autocaster Newspaper Advertising Service - 01.jpg

Autocaster Newspaper Advertising Service - 01.jpg

It’s a waffle iron for typemetal! I hope a few have survived somewhere, because I want one.


Are you seriously looking for one?