You may have noticed (at least I hope it’s noticeable) better, sharper pictures lately. I finally got tired of crappy unpredictable images and invested in a macro lens (yeah!). Though I haven’t quite mastered this photographic process, the new lens makes a dramatic difference (I know, duh). Since my font of Arabian has the manufacturer’s imprint prominently stamped on the capital As, I thought I would share a new and improved image of the Wm H Page & Co, Greenville CT mark.
04/15/10 update: Upon closer inspection of this and other characters in the font, I can see clear indications of router production (thank you to Nick Sherman and David Shields for their comments). Also, David Shields suggests the manufacturer was likely the American Wood Type Manufacturing Company, which became American Printing Equipment & Supply Company, still in business – I purchased a brayer from them last year – though they no longer manufacture wood type.
18 line Gothic (Hamilton No. 266?)
As you can see from the above picture, this letter had never been inked before I proofed it for this post. In fact, of the 78 capitals and punctuation in this font, only 9 – now 10 – have seen ink since production. The font is cut from side grain wood, but there are no router marks, no manufacturer’s imprint, and the depth of the face is deeper than any die-stamped type I’ve seen, so I’m unsure of the method of production. It’s also curious that the face of the font was not coated with varnish or shellac.
When inked, the Pantone 185 looked so hot I couldn’t resist including a photo of the letter locked up with magnets on the bed of my 7.5 x 11 inch Showcard Machine Company press.
The inked letter on press
Proof of 18 line Gothic No. 266
30 line Gothic Tuscan No. 3
First appearing in the 1850s, this pointed Tuscan – as differentiated from the concave style Tuscans (see “L is for Love Letters,” January 17) – can be seen in the 1888 “Specimens of The Wm. H. Page Wood Type Co.” Below is a scan from a facsimile edition of that specimen produced by Pioneer Press of W. VA., Inc. in cooperation with David W. Peat, a collector and authority on type specimen books.
The small capital D in the upper right hand corner of the scan is the price code. According to the “Reduced Price List, 1888” included with the specimen book the 30 line Gothic Tuscan No. 3 cost $0.14 per letter. According to Measuring Worth, that would be the 2008 equivalent of $3.27 per letter. The smallest capitals only font of type contained about 75 letters and 26 figures (numerals).