Heavy D

picture and printed proof of 4 line Gothic No. 2064 wood type capital letter D
4 line Gothic No. 2064

The boldness of this font belies its short stature. Nevertheless, it’s special. I found a partial imprint on the first capital A that I picked up; the rest of the imprint was found on another A. The way each half of the imprint perfectly completes the other suggests two possibilities. One, the face of these two A’s were cut into a single block, stamped with the maker’s mark, then sawed in half. Or two, the two letters were held side by side while the imprint was stamped into both blocks simultaneously.

In the picture it’s difficult to read the imprint, but it says, “AMERICAN W.T. Co. SO WINDHAM CT.” There were a number of manufacturers that produced wood type under the name American Wood Type Company, but Rob Roy Kelly had little doubt that the one in South Windham, Connecticut was founded by Charles Tubbs in 1878. Mr. Tubbs reorganized the company a couple of times changing the name first to Tubbs & Co., and later operating as Tubbs Mfg. Co. until it was acquired by The Hamilton Manufacturing Company in 1918.

1 thought on “Heavy D”

  1. David,

    The other (non-Tubbs) American Wood Type Companies all seem to be 20th century in operation. Tubb’s AWT Co appears to be the only 19th century company that used the name.

    Tubbs & Co became Tubbs Mfg Co—after Tubb’s death around 1903—when the company was moved to Luddington, Michigan (a “short” ferry ride across Lake Michigan from Two Rivers, Wisconsin home of Hamilton Mfg Co). The acquisition of Tubbs by Hamilton started in 1909 and was complete by 1912. Hamilton continued to use the Luddington site for distribution purposes for many years after the acquisition.

    As an aside: Tubb’s printers furniture manufacturing portion of the business was not part of the sale to Hamilton, but was sold separately and became Thompson Cabinet Co. It is still operating today in Luddington.

    Kelly got the dates a bit wrong (and I duplicated the error on the Kelly Collection website as well, the site will be corrected soon[ish].) I discovered, only recently, the correct dates in the Hamilton accounting ledgers when I was generously given access to the corporate archives this past summer in Two Rivers.

    As always, great post, and good sleuthing.


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