Virginia City museum displays Lincoln’s mourning ribbon

Upon the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865, several printing companies began issuing mourning ribbons to honor the slain president. Thousands were printed that were comprised of several different designs. The ribbons were common at the time of the assassination, but over the years have become scarce. Because of their rarity and historical significance, collectors today can expect to pay upward of $500 for the privilege of owning one.

This ribbon is a reproduction, but closely resembles the ones printed at the time of Mr. Lincoln’s death. It was printed by letterpress, using foundry type in the Fourth Ward School Museum print shop. Its monetary worth is negligible. Its value lies as a teaching aid to show the versatility of letterpress printing over the last 500 years.

First opened to the public in 1986, the Fourth Ward School Museum in Virginia City will begin its 29th season on May, 1, 2015. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, the museum is a culture and historical center that documents the history of Virginia City and the famed Comstock Lode.

The Mark Twain room on the second floor houses the print shop that contains vintage printing equipment which was once used in Virginia City’s flush times in the 19th century. In the display case you’ll see the reproduction mourning ribbon of President Lincoln.

Interesting facts about Lincoln and Nevada: Nevada celebrated its 150th birthday last Oct. 31, when Lincoln signed the proclamation on that date in 1864 making Nevada the 36th state. Wednesday marked the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death. One month and one day after Lincoln’s death, the Nevada Appeal was born. The Appeal will celebrate its 150th birthday on May 16.


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