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Robert James De Little

Robert James De Little

On January 2, 2014 Jim De Little passed away peacefully at his home in Fulford just south of York, England after a long illness. He was 78. Mr De Little, grandson of the founder, was the last owner and operator of the last wood type manufacturer in England. The DeLittle company was founded in 1888 by Robert Duncan De Little as the R D DeLittle “Eboracum” Letter Factory. The wood […] Read more – ‘Robert James De Little’.

Wood Type Research

Wood Type Research is a blog of current research in wood type design, manufacture and use during the 19th and 20th centuries by Professor David Shields, Chair of the Department of Graphic Design at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Latest Articles

Heber Wells
Heber Wells, born January 25, 1835 near Bleeker Street in New York City to Darius and Almira Waters Wells. Heber was the youngest son of Darius Wells—the first manufacturer of wood type. He was also an industrious and honest business man, a courageous soldier in the Union army and an active philanthropic member of his community.   Though born in New York City, Wells spent most of his life in Paterson, New […] Read more – ‘Heber Wells’.
George F Nesbitt
George Fash Nesbitt was born January 13, 1809 in New York City to James Nesbitt and Maria Carolina Fash. Nesbit apprenticed as a printer under his uncle Joseph C Spear. Upon his uncle’s death in 1828, George Nesbitt assumed control of his uncle’s thirty-three year old printing business. By 1831, the business was operating under the name of George F Nesbitt at 117 Water Street in New York City, and […] Read more – ‘George F Nesbitt’.
A week at the library
Spending the week at libraries tracking down American wood type manufacturer’s specimen books. On the docket are Houghton Library at Harvard University in Boston, the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, and the Connecticut Historical Society Library in Hartford. All archives seem promising with previously unrecorded specimen materials. To-date there has been no comprehensive listing of all wood type designs manufactured — or a bibliography compiled of manufacturer’s catalogs — over the […] Read more – ‘A week at the library’.