Wood and cast lead printing block. The block is square-shaped witha circular seal on the print face. The seal has two double line circles, one inner and one outer. Between the two circles, following the upper curve of the circle, is Greek text that translates to: "Hellenic School 'O Socrates.'" At the bottom of the seal, also between the two circles, is the date "1917" that is separated from the text on each side by two symbols that resemble division signs. At the center of the seal, inside the inner circle, is the image of an owl perched on a branch. The branch has two stems with leaves protruding upward on each side of the owl.
Donated by John Damianos. The printing block was used in a linotype printing machine. Linotype presses allowed for the casting of entire lines to be printed at a time. Linotype printing was eventually succeeded by lithograph printing and computer typesetting during the 1960's and 1970's. This printing block was used by the Chicago-based, The Greek Art Printing Company. the print image is used on the cover of a program for a theatre production by the Socrates Greek-American School. The Hellenic School, or Socrates School, was started in 1907 when the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Chicago began offering Greek language classes at the famous Hull House. The Socrates Greek School opened in 1908 and was renamed the Socrates Greek American School after an English curriculum was added in 1917. The image of the owl, in Western and Greek culture is a symbol of wisdom and was the symbol of the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena. Socrates was classical Greek philosopher who is credited as one of the founders of Western Civilization.
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Block, Printing, 1917, Greek Art Printing Company Artifact Collection, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/9813. Accessed 01/15/21.