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cuts these blocks down further, into various monument sizes, making additional decorative cuts as required. He then grinds one or more surfaces to a glassy smoothness. Meanwhile, a draftsman draws up a design with the lettering agreed to during consultation with the customer. OK, so far? This is when the engraver steps in. He coats the headstone with a liquid glue, then applies a rubber stencil over the glue. The stencil then is covered by a carbon-backed layout of the draftsman’s design, which transfers the design onto the rubber stencil. The engraver then cuts out the design ~ the letters and decorative features ~ on the stone using a sandblaster. An air compressor propels a coarse cutting abrasive ~ usually aluminum oxide or glass beads, not sand ~ onto the exposed portions of the stone with a force of around 100 pounds per square inch. This sandblasting can be done manually or through automation. In our part of the world, in 1951, probably it was done manually. We can only assume that the draftsman made a little mistake, that the carbon-backed design sheet he sent to the engraver contained a typo. The month of July was spelled “Jluy.” OK, we all make mistakes. Surely, the draftsman (let’s call him Mitchell) had gotten things wrong before. There must have been the occasional miscommunication with 141

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March 2017 ttimes web magazine  

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