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Once in a while as a picker you'll stumble upon something that just has to be grabbed instantly (before someone else does) such as these unique letterpress printer's blocks containing photographs of people. These two plates both contain markings from the I.P.E.U (International Photo-Engravers Union) which suggests they date back to no earlier than 1904 but more likely circa 1940's. Both plates are mounted onto solid wood with thin paper backing; the metal plate portion has been carefully nailed on and possibly made of zinc (but not copper). Used by photographers & printers, these printing blocks are often used in newspaper printing as well.
Plate #1 - Contains a portrait of a woman, name of Virgalee H. Ritchell (or Ritchel). Plate measures 1⅞" x 1⅝" x ⅞" thick. Marked I.P.E.U. local #492. Assuming that this is the same "Virgalee H. Ritchel" from Ancestry.com then this plate is circa 1940's.
Plate #2 - Contains a portrait of a man, name of Ellis Edinger (who was likely born in 1905). Plate measures 1⅜" x 1⅜" x ⅞" thick. Marked I.P.E.U. local #120.
Both plates for just $40.
Condition: Good used vintage condition.