William H. Page was the first to offer this sturdy design, calling it Antique Extra Condensed No. 3. With curt, unbracketed slab serifs, and squinting counters this extra condensed face sets a tense line. Nearly all wood type manufacturers offered a version, most calling it by the same name as Page. Hamilton Manufacturing Co. simply titled it No. 255.
Fourteen is an even number, but an odd line height for a font of wood type. Nevertheless, this J comes from a fourteen line font of capitals and some punctuation (no figures). The naivete of many of the characters, the lack of a manufacturer’s stamp, and the unusual size make me wonder if this might be a one-of-a-kind, possibly created by a printer for a specific job.
12 line Flash Bold
Monotype released Flash, the first typeface designed by Edwin W. Shaar, in 1939. Flash Bold was released a year later. Many of the Flash Bold capitals are quite similar in design to those in Balloon Extra Bold, but where Balloon is a caps only typeface Flash has a lowercase alphabet.
The metal Flash that I have access to is cast on an upright body. The wood Flash (and Balloon, and Brush) are cut on an angled body and require angled furniture (shown in the upper photograph) to square up the lines.
12 line Trafton Script
Many of the later faces cut by Hamilton Manufacturing Co. and American Wood Type originated as foundry type or monotype designs. Trafton Script is one these. It was designed by Howard Allen Trafton, New York, in 1933, and cut by Bauer Type Foundry in Germany. Its long ascenders and descenders give it a modicum of sophistication, but Trafton still manages a certain informality. Unlike other script fonts (like the yet to be proofed Brush Script), this wood (side grain) version of Trafton was cut on an upright body so it does not require angled furniture. No imprint was found.