Since the publication of Lost Tea Rooms of Downtown Cincinnati, I have met a lot of people who shared wonderful memories and a few who offered fun and unusual finds. A man named Steve is one of those people. After hearing about my book project, he wanted to share a photo of an item he had picked up at a garage sale in Dayton several years ago – a printer’s plate that is about 10½” long, 5” wide, and on a ½” thick board. He thought the lettering was steel sitting on a copper sheet that was nailed to the board.
Steve noticed that the top location was 4th Street and right away thought of McAlpin’s. When he was little – in the mid 1960s – his mother took him to the store and they ate in the Tea Room. Based on the five locations listed, he wondered if I had any idea from what time period this plate was designed.
As luck would have it, I was able to tell him that the printing plate had been used in the late 1940s or early 1950s, and I could show him what the actual printed page looked like when it appeared on the back page of the menu.