Point the Way

12 line Index No. 6

Page 8 of my reproduction of Hamilton Manufacturing Company’s Specimens of Wood Type, seventeenth edition¹, identifies this portentously pointing hand as Index No. 6. Throughout history, this punctilious punctuation mark has been called many names: index, printer’s fist, mutton-fist, bishop’s fist, and manicule, among others. For an in-depth proposition of the perpetual use of the manicule moniker, read William Sherman’s persuasive and enjoyable essay, “Toward a History of the Manicule.”

¹Scanning, pre-press and printing by Pioneer Press of West Virginia, Inc. Copies available for the paltry price of $40 from Shooting Star Press, Little Rock, Arkansas.