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Haxby to speak at Perkins ceremony

The Historical Society of Old Newbury, Cushing House Museum, in Newburyport, Mass., will hold a ceremonial ribbon cutting at 1 p.m. May 15 in honor of the purchase and first phase of restoration of the Jacob Perkins Printing and Engraving Building.

Although Perkins was involved with bank note plates from the 1790s onward, his significant participation dates to the time of his printing and engraving firm, around 1803 to 1833.

In 1808, when his brother joined the Perkins firm, Jacob mortgaged his frame home at 14 Fruit St. in Newburyport and had a three-story brick building constructed at the back of the lot. This building was the site of the business for 25 years. (The address has recently been changed to 98 High Street.) The edifice is being acknowledged as the earliest example of a printing and engraving building extant.

The historical society and the Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank are teaming up to give a tour of the building, followed by a lecture from obsolete bank note expert Dr. James Haxby on Jacob Perkins and the birth of currency in the United States.

Admission is free. Call (978) 462-2681 for reservations.

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