This is a first attempt on my part to compile (and make available) a comprehensive list of wood type specimen catalogs (( There are a number of other useful compiled lists available online, including: Ralf Herrmann’s post “Type Specimens Online” provides a number of useful digital links. https://typography.guru/forums/topic/44-type-specimens-online/ Dr. David M. MacMillan’s “Foundry Specimens & Typography” page at Circuitous Root provides an exhaustive list of founders and manufacturers. http://www.circuitousroot.com/artifice/letters/press/noncomptype/typography/index.html)) that currently exists […] Read more – ‘A (working) hand-list of available wood type specimen catalog facsimiles and digital copies’.
Aldine & Aldine Ornamented were patented by William H Page — and assigned to William H Page & Co — on March 15, 1870, (US Design No 3,905). The plain face Aldine was first shown April 1870, in Marder, Luce & Co’s quarterly The Chicago Specimen ((Marder, Luce & Co. The Chicago Specimen 4, no. 2 (April, 1870).)). Both Aldine and Aldine Ornamented were shown by William H Page & […] Read more – ‘Aldine & Aldine Ornamented’.
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 […] Read more – ‘Expanded No 1, No 2, and No 3’.
Unique was patented by William H Page — and assigned to William H Page & Co — on March 15, 1870, (US Design No 3,901). The type was first shown in James Conner’s Sons Typographic Messinger, Vol 5, No 2 (April, 1870). The sales copy for the advertisement read: “The specimens of “Unique” shown in this number, are of a style so elegant and tasteful in its design that the series […] Read more – ‘Unique’.
Charles Henry Tubbs, a type maker for William Page and a founding partner of the American Wood Type Co, was born January 13, 1842, in New York City to Joseph Tubbs and Jane Sloat. When ill health caused Joseph Tubbs, a brick and stone mason, to retire from his successful contractor and building business in New York City, he moved the family to a farm between Lisbon and Hanover, Connecticut. […] Read more – ‘Charles Henry Tubbs’.
Kelly, Rob Roy. Wood type; specimens of nineteenth-century American wood type with introductory notes. Kansas City, Mo: Rob Roy Kelly, 1964. Print. Issued in a tan buckram covered solander box with printed paper label on front cover, titled: Wood type; specimens of nineteenth-century American wood type with introductory notes. Consists of introductory notes and index bound in printed paper wrappers with black plastic spiral spine titled: American Wood Types 1828–1900, Volume […] Read more – ‘A hand list of Kelly’s 1964 folio’.
The following entry was originally published in John Luther Ringwalt’s 1871 American Encyclopedia of Printing ((Ringwalt, John Luther. American Encyclopædia of Printing. Philadelphia: Menamin & Rinwalt, 1871. pg 502–503)). Ringwalt describes the early production process employed by Darius Wells, the first wood type manufacturer, and details an important distinction between the wood type templates of William Leavenworth and those of Edwin Allen. Most interestingly Ringwalt explicitly names the first recorded competitor to Darius Well in 1830. Wood Type […] Read more – ‘Type made of wood.’.
Identifying the manufacturers and clarifying, as precisely as possible, the origin of the designs of the types in the Rob Roy Kelly American Wood Type Collection has been an important component of my ongoing research into nineteenth century typographic form. One of my active projects has been the assignment of unattributed types to particular manufacturers and the clarification of their histories through physical and visual research. Fixing a type’s origins is […] Read more – ‘Planing patterns and sleuthing origins’.
The intention of starting this blog is to develop a platform to record threads of ongoing inquiries, partially formulated ideas, bits of new discoveries and observations of the world through the filter of my research into nineteenth century and twentieth century wood type. I’ll be including notes on histories of particular type designs, texts regarding wood type manufacturers from nineteenth century sources, images from my research as well as details concerning previously […] Read more – ‘Starting a research blog’.