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(in Russian, gal’vanostereotipiia), a method of making copies of the forms for letterpress printing (stereotypes) by galvanoplastics. It was used for the first time in the world in 1839 to duplicate printed forms at the ekspeditsiia (separate administrative branch or subdivision) for the preparation of government papers in St. Petersburg.
Electrotyping involves the making of a matrix, the electrolytic deposition of a metal (usually copper) on the matrix to obtain the printing form (when the deposited metallic layer reaches the necessary thickness of 0.25 to 0.30 mm, it is separated from the matrix), and finishing. Electrotyping gives a more accurate reproduction of the original (base) form than the usual cast stereotype. The wear resistance of copper electrotyping stereotypes is sufficient to give 200,000-250,000 impressions (zinc stereotypes give 25,000-30,000 impressions). After additional coating with a thin layer of iron or nickel, an electrotype can give 1 million impressions. The method is used mainly for printing books and periodicals containing a large number of illustrations, as well as for high-circulation color reproductions.