William Ged

c.1690 - 1749

Inventor, printer and goldsmith. Born in Edinburgh, Ged invented the process of stereotyping, whereby a printed page was composed but then the printing plate is cast from this mould. This gave a much stronger and more durable plate than was possible with the temporary binding of individual elements, which had been used previously. However he met significant opposition from printers whose jobs depended on the old processes and his process was not widely adopted until long after his death. Having failed in this venture, he became a goldsmith and used his previous experience to invent the Lost Wax process of metal casting, which is today used widely in the jewellery trade for reproducing delicate designs. He died in Leith.

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