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12-line Hamilton Gothic Wood Type Font

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austrohungaro's loves1065 of 3320Cooley Clarendon Extended Wood Type FontBelding Bros. Spool Cabinet Circa 1880s
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    Posted 10 years ago

    (156 items)

    This is the 2nd of 2 great fonts I picked up yesterday. It's pretty rustic in that many of the letters have been cut ("shop cut") to fit with other letters in a process called kerning. So it's not in perfect condition but it's pretty artsy and the letters look great. It's missing a few sorts like the sixes and fours. I wish I know what it had been used to print.

    p.s. received a note just now from the person who sold me the font, with more info on "shop cutting:"

    "Reminded me of this photo I saw the other day, from a story on the American Printing History Association website.

    Seems the Government Printing Office just donated a large cache of wood type that had long been gathering dust in their basement to the Corcoran Art School for their letterpress printing program. Among the treasures was this notice stuck in one of the type cases:

    "Do Not MORTISE Wood Type without permission of Foreman or Assistant Foreman"

    "Mortise" of course is the proper term for "shop cut," and involved kerning the type by actually trimming the wood letters with a table or band saw in various places to make letters fit together better. Obviously, it was a delicate process, as one slip would cut into the printing surface and ruin the letter. No doubt the Foreman (you can almost make out his name at the bottom of the notice) was tired of people without the requisite skills ruining his type.

    You can see the full story here:

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    1. taijiredlion, 10 years ago
      For those with an interest in wood type, a couple must-have reference books:

      1) American Wood Type: 1828 - 1900, by Rob Roy Kelly [RRK], 1969. The "bible" of wood type. The out-of-print hardbound edition will cost you, but a new paperback edition has just been published by Liber Apertus Press:

      2) The Art of Wood Type, by Greg Ruffa, 2009. A bit less detail than RRK, but the last two-thirds of the book is a beautiful compendium of wood type from some of the top collections around the country, including full-page proof sheets and color plates covering over 100 classic font styles. A labor of love by collector and printer Greg Ruffa, this is a very beautiful, high-quality "coffeetable" paperback. Available only from the author. View and buy online at:

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