Page 4 from the American Wood Type Mfg. Co. Catalog No. 36. Free high res download.
Shadow was the American Wood Type Manufacturing Company’s version of Umbra, designed in 1932 by Robert Hunter Middleton for the Ludlow Typograph Company, Chicago. This 12 line font was purchased in 2010 from Virgin Wood Type. The majority of the blocks were new old stock. To complete the font, Bill Jones cut the missing characters from the AWT patterns.
Page 3 from the American Wood Type Mfg. Co. Catalog No. 36. Wondering what that sweet script/cursive face is that’s being used for the running headers and face identification? Oddly enough, it’s called Gillies Gothic. Working on building your letterpress library? Here’s a free high res download.
Page 2 from the American Wood Type Mfg. Co. Catalog No. 36. The tipped in list with prices effective August 1, 1950 seems to indicate that AWT used this catalog for at least 14–15 years. For the collectors out there, here’s a link to a high res download.
You want to see more of the 1936 American Wood Type Mfg. Co. specimen/catalog? Ok, but only because you asked nicely. High resolution image available here.
This oversized (10.25 x 13.75 inch) American Wood Type Mfg. Co. specimen/catalog from 1936 is a beauty. High resolution image available here, because Letterpress Daily loves you.
This one’s for you Paul Brown.
Thanks to Bill Jones, proprietor of Virgin Wood Type, for the inspiration to make this special Valentine’s Day post and for confirming my suspicions that American Wood Type was the manufacturer.
Minimal wear, no manufacturer’s imprint, and a font cut from the side grain led me to believe this was cut by the American Wood Type Manufacturing Company, of Long Island, New York. The distinctive flattened bowls of the capital B, R, and D of this font directly match the showing of Newstype in my American Wood Type Mfg. Co. 1958–9 Catalog, shown below (notice the misspelling in the 6 line version):
Rob Roy Kelly identified three primary styles of wood type designs, Roman, Antique, and Gothic. A large majority of the secondary and tertiary styles are directly derived from the primaries. My collection contains many fine examples of Antiques and Gothics, but I am acutely aware of the paucity of Roman styled letters – this 8 line Ultra Bodoni Condensed capital L is a lonely sort – especially in the vein of the nineteenth century fat face. Nicolete Gray defined the fat face thusly:
. . . a large letter with (a) vertical shading, (b) abrupt modelling, so exaggerated that the thick stroke is nearly half as wide as the letter is high, and (c) certain characteristic forms, all tending to emphasize the roundness in the letters; R with a curly tail, short ranging J terminating in a round blob, Q with a tail making a loop with the bowl, S, C and G with barbed terminals and G with a pointed spur.
The roughness (clearly visible in the proof) on the right side (left in the proof) of the main stem is the result of poor cutting – or a lack of finishing – on the part of the manufacturer.