What am I? exhibit update: Identity of Object #2 revealed!

Diploma embosser

Donated as part of :

York University Convocation Office fonds,  F041


This tool was developed by members of York’s Physical Plant and the Convocation Office in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

Designed and created by Steve Dranitsaris, Fred Matthews and John Becker, this contraption was used to emboss university seals on York diplomas.

The object is approximately 36 cm2 and 4 cm thick with two adjustable guides and a tightening clamp.

Prior to this tool being built, each graduation diploma had a red embossed seal of York University affixed to it.  Preparing these stamps individually became time consuming once the university started graduating more than a thousand students a year.  To expedite the process, it was decided that all York University graduation diplomas would be pre-printed with a red stamp.

In order to ensure that each diploma was embossed  quickly and accurately, this device was developed by staff from the Convocation Office and Physical Plant.

The tool served the university well until the design of the diplomas was changed, rendering it obsolete.


John Becker, “Clear Plastic Device Labelled “Convocation Office, S104 Ross, 667-2226”.  February 1998.


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