I found this H while going through some sorts. It caught my attention because the stems seemed significantly shorter than usual. When I looked closer under better light, I noticed that the bracketed points that distinguished this character as Tuscan No. 3 were removed, relegating this once capital fellow to life as a Gothic, sans serif.
There’s nothing particularly special about this letterform, simply three unadorned strokes. The crossbar (central, horizontal stroke) is thinner, and sits higher than mathematical center, giving an appearance of optical balance and equality. It’s the light color of the face, the prominent wood grain, the traces of red and black ink, the worn and rounded edges and scars from a life of hard work; it’s the warmth and humanity of this block that make it a cherished object.
36 line French Clarendon No. 2
This heavy, bracket-seriffed Antique derivative was first shown as wood type in 1873. The American type foundries had been showing unbracketed Antique faces called French Clarendon since at least 1867. In fact, a 1997 reproduction of a 1869 MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan specimen shows four sizes of a French Clarendon that is bracketless and significantly lighter than this wood version.
This H is from a complete, router cut, end grain, caps and figures font produced by Wm. H. Page & Co. (see imprint below).
10 line Cooper Black Condensed
Designed by the great Oswald Cooper for Barnhart Brothers & Spindler, Cooper Black was released in 1922, before BB&S was absorbed by the American Type Foundry (ATF). Despite its rotund, slightly comical appearance, Cooper Black went on to become ATF’s second best selling typeface of all time (after Copperplate Gothic). This version in wood (end grain) was cut by Hamilton Manufacturing Company.