Artifact of the Week: Offset Printing Plate

printing plateThis artifact is an offset printing plate excavated in 2010 from the Andrew Johnson Homestead in Greenville, Tennessee. The plate is approximately 5 cm x 15 cm and is made of an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony. These materials were commonly used for type sets. Although the plate is in an extremely fragile state, it appears to be engraved with the verses of a poem in very small font set between three decorative figures.

This was the second printing plate found at the homestead; the first was excavated in relatively the same area during a 1998 archeological survey. The type was made of lead and inscribed with the words “On Greystone.”

Catalogue # ANJO 6719