The term is derived from steel-manufacturing in which steel was molded into large plates for use in steam boilers. The implication is that either the boilerplate was strong as steel and tested or, more likely, that it was something built to be used over and over. In legal documents, safety warnings, mission statements, installation guides, copyright statements, and responsibility disclaimers a boilerplates are used very commonly like templates that are sort of "fill-in-the-blank". In programming, boilerplates are pieces of re-usable code.

In the 1890's newspapers used them for printing and until the 1950's were used to send out press releases so they had to be printed as written.

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