Rectangular-shaped, wood and cast lead printing block. The print image is an outline of the island of Cyprus. Inside the outline is the image of two hands embraced in a hand shake.
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, Greek Art Printing Company. This particular printing block was used for the printing of letterheads for the Cypriot Brotherhood of Greater Chicago. Between 1972 and 1992, the Cypriot Brotherhood had its offices at locations in both Chicago and Park Ridge. The organization was formed of Cypriot-Americans and worked to promote the Greek Cypriot cause to American officials and the American public, as well as providing material support to relief efforts for Greek Cypriot refugees. The printing block was also used for the printing of letterheads, membership cards, meeting announcements, and social event invitations for the Cyprus Island Society of Chicago. The Cyprus Island Society of Chicago was another Cypriot-American organization that supported the Greek Cypriot cause. Greek Cypriots, while having a distinct history and identity of thier own, still celebrate many Greek holidays and associate themselves with Greece. While immigration of Greek Cypriots to the United States was rather small during the early part of the Twentieth Century, large numbers of immigrants began coming to the United States between 1974 and 1976 when a military coup d'etat to unite Cyprus with Greece was met by a Turkish invasion. Around 180,000 Greek Cypriots fled thier homes as a result of the Turkish invasion. The result of the invasion and short conflict was the dividing of Cyprus between the Greek Cypriot-controlled South and the Turkish/Turkish-Cypriot-controlled North of the island that continues to be a point of contention between Greece and Turkey to this day. The combination of the outline of Cyprus and the superimposed hands united in a handshake, symbolizes the organizations efforts to bring about a unified Cyprus.
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Block, Printing, 1972, Greek Art Printing Company Artifact Collection, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/9831. Accessed 01/16/21.