Expanded No 1, No 2, and No 3

by David Shields. Average Reading Time: about 2 minutes.

Expanded No 1, No 2, and No 3 were three wood types released by Wm H Page & Co and first shown in the company’s April 1867 specimen catalog. The faces were each embellished variations of Antique Tuscan Expanded that Page & Co had first listed on their 1865 published price list. The design is slightly more condensed than Antique Tuscan Extended which Page & Co showed in their May 1860 catalog. The extended variant of the Antique Tuscan was first shown as wood type in America by Wells & Webb in their 1854 specimen catalog as Extended Antique Tuscan.

Antique Tuscan Expanded can be characterized as a semi-ornamental design. Rob Roy Kelly defined semi-ornamental as solid-faced letterforms “frequently derivative in design, that obtain a decorative quality from an active contour, and that generally include some ambiguity between letterform and counter or between adjacent letterforms.”1

Expanded No 1, No 2, and No 3 were first shown as two color chromatic wood type in Page’s April 1867 specimen catalog. Expanded No 1 was the outlined and drop-shadowed variant of Antique Tuscan Expanded. Expanded No 2 followed No 1’s outline and drop shadow but also included a solid fill in the top portion of letter and a large medial dot. The medial dot was lined. Expanded No 3 followed all of the characteristics of No 2 but the medial dot was solid.

The April 1867 specimen catalog’s price list also included a design named Expanded No 5. That design was,curiously, not shown in any of the known specimen catalogs produced by Page. The July 1870 specimen catalog also introduced Expanded No 4 and No 6 on the price page, but, like Expanded No 5 were not shown as specimens. Expanded No 1, No 2, No 3, and No 5 were listed as price Class F, and Expanded No 4 and No 6 were listed as price Class E. Expanded No 1, No 2, and No 3 were each offered chromatically in the 1874 Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders, &c manufactured by Wm H Page & Co, Greenville, Conn.

When The Hamilton Mfg Co acquired the Wm H Page Wood Type Co in 1891, Hamilton changed the names of all the designs. Antique Tuscan Expanded became No 4015; Expanded No 1 became No 347; Expanded No 2 became No 438 and Expanded No 3 became No 437. Page’s Expanded No 4, No 5 and No 6 were never listed or shown in any Hamilton specimen catalog. Hamilton did show all three designs as single color options up until Catalog No 15 of 1901.

  1. Kelly, Rob Roy. American Wood Type: 1828–1900, Notes on the Evolution of Decorated and Large Types and Comments on Related Trades of the Period. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1969: 120. /