Printing Plate for Facsimile 3, circa 16 May 1842
, Printing plate for “A Fac-simile from the Book of Abraham. No. 3,” [, Hancock Co., IL, ca. 16 May 1842]; Church History Museum, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City.One printing plate representing a vignette, or illustration, from an Egyptian papyrus, measuring 4⅛ × 6½ × ⅞ inches (10 × 17 × 2 cm). The metal plate, measuring ¼ inch (1 cm) thick, is attached to a wooden block that is ⅝ inch (2 cm) thick, with one screw near each of the four corners. The metal plate was evidently attached to the wooden block to make the entire plate the same height as the regular type. In six instances, pieces of type bearing numerals 1 through 6 were attached to this plate by drilling holes through both the plate and wood after they were fastened together and securing the type with a soft, putty-like substance. One hole in the plate is not filled with type or nails—perhaps indicating the hole was part of the original wood carving and therefore transferred to the mold. It is possible that the creator of the plate intended to affix additional pieces of type to the plate or fasten the plate to the wood block at additional points. The numerals on the plate identified elements of the image that are keyed to explanations printed with the facsimile. At the bottom of the plate, “ENG.BY R’HEDLOCK” is set in type, identifying as the engraver. This type is secured in place by a metal rule, which is screwed into the wooden block at the bottom edge of the plate. Work on the plate was completed by the time the 16 May 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons was printed. Sometime after the printing of the Book of Abraham was completed, someone attached a wire to the back of the plate with two large, u-shaped nails, likely in order to display the plate on a wall. An unknown white substance is also adhered to the back of the wooden block.The plate was cataloged by the Historian’s Office in 1858. At an unknown time, it was moved to the Bureau of Information at Temple Square, which was established in 1902. Later, it was transferred to the Museum of Church History and Art (now Church History Museum). By 1992, the plates for Facsimiles 1 and 2 had been processed and cataloged at that museum. The plate for Facsimile 3, which had been deaccessioned by the museum at an unknown time, was acquired by the Church History Department in 2009.
- Historical Introduction