They are as recent as 1986 and as old as 1789, yet the silver-colored plates in the collection of the Delaware County Historical Society each hold their own significance.
Five of them herald this country’s bicentennial as they highlight places of historical importance throughout the area. One features John Morton’s homestead from 1654; another the Caleb Pusey House as it stood in 1683. A view of St. David’s Church from 1715 is displayed on one and on another, the 1724 colonial courthouse.
One features two locales form Sept. 11, 1777 – Gen. George Washington’s headquarters at the Battle of Brandywine and Gen. Lafayette’s headquarters.
The Thomas Leiper House has its own special plate with a flourished edge, as it commemorates a 200-year anniversary between the years 1785 to 1985.
The South Chester Tube Company celebrates its own 75th birthday on another plate as the years 1899 to 1974 are prominently displayed.
Concord is duly represented, including a plate showing St. John’s Church, founded in the Year of our Lord, 1702.
Samuel Levis’ House takes center on a Springfield Township plate from 1986 and the Chester Lodge No. 236 notes its 135th anniversary with a picture of the William A. Carpenter building.
One simple, yet elegant, one has only one ornamentation at its top with only the numbers “1789” encased in a raised rectangle.
Several of the plates are from Wilton Armetale in Columbia, Pa. Although these pieces were capable of being used on the table or in the oven, these particular ones seemed to be held in display since any cutting motion of knives or forks could scratch the surface.
The Armetale pieces were crafted for endurance and not one piece was made alike.
Armetale is a fused material that combines 10 different metals together for a certain look and feel.
These plates of Armetale and other components are part of the collection at the Delaware County Historical Society Museum, Library & Research Center. The museum is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Friday; 1 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The museum’s telephone number is 610-872-0502. Parking is free on the society lot behind the building or across the street in the municipal lot.
Membership in the Delaware County Historical Society ranges from $10 for students, $27 for individuals to $250 at the patron level. It includes free admission to the society’s Chester museum and library at 408 Avenue of the States, the society newsletter and preferred reservations and discounts for lectures and events. To join, please visit www.padelcohistory.org or call 610-359-0832.
Plates dating back to 1789 are in the collection at the Delaware County Historical Society.
A bevy of plates from the country's bicentennial are among the DCHS treasures.