‘Wall Street Journal’ Retails Page One Plates

By: Jim Rosenberg

To the many commemorative front pages and keepsake editions, we may now add the plates that printed them.

Through its online store, The Wall Street Journal is selling aluminum printing plates imaged with the front pages that headlined the election and inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Almost a foot across and almost two feet deep, plates of pages from the day after the election, inauguration day and the day after sell for $79.99 each, with a discount for more than one day.

A Dow Jones spokeswoman said the plates are from the company’s plant in Charlotte, N.C., where their production is worked “into our regular evening routines.”

The Charlotte plant has two computer-to-plate lines that incorporate Kodak Trendsetter thermal platesetters. As many as six Dow Jones plants have converted to CTP in recent months — some with two and others with three Trendsetter imagers.

CTP technology facilitates multiple re-imaging on demand because plates are laser imaged from stored digital data files rather than exposed from page films.

The spokeswoman would not disclose Dow Jones’ production costs or the number of plates the Journal store has sold, but said “sales have exceeded our expectations thus far.”

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