Wednesday, September 22, 2010

History of Typography

Wood was used for letterforms (and illustrations) dating back to the first known Chinese wood block print first created in 868.

Darius Wells

established the first newspaper with William Childs in Amsterdam.

In 1826 he went to New York, and continued the printing business. At that time the largest metal type that was made was only twelve-line pica, and it cost more than the average printer could afford to pay. This led to his making large type from wood, and he followed the method of engravers by using cross-grained sections. The advantage of wood-type having been established, it was found necessary to devise means of manufacturing it with greater rapidity and less labor. In 1827 Mr. Wells found that by using a vertical revolving cutter a more speedy removal of the superfluous wood could be effected. This device, improved by various modifications such as the pantograph introduced by William Leavenworth in 1834


is known as the routing machine.

Find info and this "Pre-1826 hand-cut letter by Darius Wells" here and here

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