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My research on old printing techniques led me to purchase this six-day run of Doonesbury from May 7, 1973, in “flong” (paper mold) form that was sent out by syndicates to newspapers. These strips were pulled before running because Ehrlichman resigned!
If you ever wondered how newspapers syndicated comic strips when all printing was raised metal (letterpress)? By these paper molds. The molds were cut up into strips, assembled into the comics page, and then made into a solid curved metal plate.
More typically, entire pages of type and photographs were assembled into a metal frame and then a full sheet mold created at once. If you’d like to learn more about this era of printing, read my article! medium.com/@glennf/flong-…
The only reason the Doonesbury strips survived and in an uncut sheet is because they were pulled. Otherwise, the comics page mold (and all page molds) were thrown away, and the metal plates melted down to reuse. This sheet was even prepared for platemaking (back side shown).
You can own your own piece of flong and dozens of other type artifacts—a Linotype slug with text you specify, wood and metal type, and much more—by acquiring a Tiny Type Museum & Time Capsule: tinytypemuseum.com
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