5 line French Clarendon


picture and printed proof of 5 line French Clarendon wood type capital letter DDespite its diminutiveness, this font is part of a big mystery. The capital A’s are stamped “Page & Co., Greenville, CT” (see below).

According to Rob Roy Kelly, this version of the Page & Co. imprint was believed to be in use 1857–59. On the Rob Roy Kelly American Wood Type Collection website, David Shields dates the first appearance of French Clarendon wood types to 1865. When I asked Mr. Shields for assistance with this puzzle, he replied that Kelly’s note regarding this stamp says “use of 1857–‘59 stamp on types not listed until 1870.” Shields guesses Page & Co. may have reused the 1857–59 stamp for a short time in the 1870s.

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.

Tenacious D

12 line Arabian

Rob Roy Kelly describes Arabian as a semi-ornamental derivative of the Gothics. The Arabians first appeared around 1869. William Page issued two styles, Arabian and Arabian No. 1, both with capitals and lowercase – my font has capitals only.