Saturday, July 1, 2017

Fences, Limestone, and Lithographs

It's been a fun 4th of July weekend, so far.  K's dad, sister, and our niece are visiting until Tuesday (the 4th.)  K's dad wanted to help us with our new fence, and today they got a ton of work done.

Over the past couple weeks, K and the guys who work for her have mapped out and mostly dug the post holes for our new fence.  But today K and her dad got like 10 posts actually measured and cemented in.  They did all the tricky ones, she said-- so after these, the rest will go in really quickly.

Bill, my father-in-law, was working really hard in the heat all day today.  For a long time this afternoon, he was digging on the side of the house where the fence will end at the path coming from our mudroom door.  I took a break from the kids and he showed me how he was running into a bunch of old stone and rebar about a foot under our "sidewalk."  The stone was chipping away, but of course he couldn't get past that rebar without a saw.

He showed me a cool rectangle stone that he dug up, and he had noticed that it had a really smooth top.  As I looked closer.... I noticed that it had writing on it.  I ran inside to grab a wet cloth, then wiped the dirt off it as carefully as I could.

There is careful etching in about 10 fonts on this stone... laying out the pattern for a Cashier's Check.
Unfortunately, through either the shovel chipping at it or just its original condition, there are chips missing in parts that could've probably provided some identifying information.  But, still.... what a cool find.

I had only a slight idea of what this was-- that it would've been used for printing.  But I would've expected the text to be reversed.  So that when it was printed the text on the paper would be correct.  I did a bit of searching online and quickly found that I was correct-- this is a lithographic stone, used for printing.  Some stones that I saw online had the text reversed and some had it the correct/forward way.

The stone is 8.5" long by 6.5" wide by almost 4" tall.  Pretty, white limestone, and lots of dirt on the sides.  Really cool....

K's dad unearthed more stones that were stacked up beneath our cement stairs and then the blacktop sidewalk leading to the alley.  Could these be more printing stones...?  He said they looked like stairs underneath our stairs.  We may not find out, though-- they got the post set and filled in the hole with cement.  I guess those stones will be left for another 50+ years for some future owner to discover....

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