The Pearl: A Throwback Thursday Object for Creating Tactile Graphics
On the seventy-sixth anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, we tried to find something that applied to remember the day, but we don’t have that kind of collection. But we do have a PEARL! The Plate Embossing Apparatus for Raised Lines was invented and designed by APH engineer Gary Davis in 1984. To my knowledge, only two were ever made. The PEARL is a metal tooling machine that functioned much like a sewing machine, only instead of stitching fabric, it embosses raised lines on metal embossing plates used to create tactile graphics. About four feet wide, the PEARL is all business with its gray paint and stainless steel hardware, so in that regard it does reflect those ships on battleship row. The operator sat in front of the machine and fed the plate under the tooling arm. Although most of our tactile graphics production has gone digital, we still have a PEARL ready to produce plates for jobs that run on our Heidelberg Presses.
Photo Caption (The Plate Embossing Apparatus for Raised Lines)
Museum Director, APH