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Wars of Expansion Nook and Touchable (6 of 13)

Black and white outdoor photo of three children standing, two young adults seated, posed for portrait.

Nook Orientation

You have opened the sixth of thirteen QR codes located throughout the gallery.

You’re standing in front of the second of four small defined display spaces called nooks. Each serves as an introduction to the exhibit section. This section is called “Wars of Expansion.”   

Nook Space Description

In the center of the display in a clear glass case is an iron printing press. On either side of the nook is a large, backlit photo. Left photo of a closeup of a painting of a Mexican American War battle; right, closeup photo of an Arizona Spanish-language newspaper headline, “Guerra! Guerra! ¿Se rompen las hostilidades entre España y E.U.?”  (“War! War! Do hostilities break out between Spain and the United States?” in English). Projected on the wall behind is a 16-minute video with music, maps, political cartoons, paintings, and newspaper headlines related to Texas Independence, the Mexican-American War, and the Spanish-American War. In front of the printing press is a rail with a signature object label and touchable. You can choose to listen to the label or opt to continue to the object description followed by a touchable description. 

Printing Press:
Signature Object Label Text

This type of press was used for small documents like booklets. Throughout the 1800s, Latina and Latino writers published their work in cities such as Philadelphia, New York, New Orleans, Santa Fe, and San Francisco. They were Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Chilean, and other nationalities. Their newspapers, novels, autobiographies, and other printed works bring fresh perspectives to U.S. history.   

  

Albion press, Hopkinson & Cope. 1845. National Museum of American History.

Printing Press Description

A black iron hand printing press is mounted on a wooden stand, together they are about the size of a 5’6” tall woman. The press itself is a little more than half the total height. The iron frame of the press has one column on each side with lion-paw feet that have gold claws. At the top of the iron frame, cast letters painted in gold: Hopkinson and Cope, Finsbury, London. The press mechanism is midway down the frame, with a horizontal lever to lower it onto a printing plate. The lever gets pulled toward the operator standing on the left to lower the press onto the paper and type plate. A hand crank on the left side of the frame is used to move the plate with the metal type and paper backward to under the press and then forward, to remove the completed printing. 

Mid 1800s iron hand printing press with brass finial
Albion press, Hopkinson & Cope. 1845. National Museum of American History  
Albion press, Hopkinson & Cope. 1845. National Museum of American History  

Touchable Label Text & Description

You can choose to listen to the touchable label or opt to continue to the touchable description. 

Touchable Label Text

Touch the movable type.  

 

Before the invention of modern media, news was printed on paper. To print text, type blocks are placed on a composing stick backwards, so the words read left to right. Next, ink is applied. Blocks are then pressed onto the paper. How has printing technology changed?   

Touchable Description

A dark metal tool shaped like a rectangular tray, known as a composing stick. Used for printing, individual letters are assembled upside down on the stick to spell out "LA VOZ" (or "The Voice”). This word represents the shortened title of a Spanish-language Latino newspaper from the 1800s.

Directions to Next QR Code

QR code 7 is ahead on your left, about 8 feet away. QR Code 8 is ahead on your left.

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