Juliette Printing Plate

Printing plate, Juliette, Florida. In the days before laser printers, newspapers were printed using plates and presses. Text would be formed into a metal plate (much like a stamp) which was then inked and printed onto paper. Plates were made by a machine where molten lead was formed into sections with the text to be printed – thus the term “hot off the press.” This plate, which likely dates to about 1900, is from the “ghost town” of Juliette in Marion County. Juliette was a farming community settled in the 1850s. When phosphate (used in fertilizers) was discovered nearby in 1889, the town flourished. However, the deposits did not last and the boom was short-lived. The post office closed in 1926 and today there is nothing left of the town. Interestingly, the text on the plate describes the number libraries in the United States at the time of printing (SRM2015-01-07).