Ink balls, ca. 1740
Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004
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Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004

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Two hand inking pads or ink balls, one large, one small, with ebonized wooden handles. They are stuffed with horsehair and wrapped in cloth ticking with a leather exterior. The leather was tacked to the ticking with metal nails. These were originally included as part of a purchase by The Franklin Institute of an etcher's plate press in 1933. The inking pads are reputed to have a connection to Franklin, although there is no documentation to support that claim. Terms of Use Credits