H.C.Hansen Type Foundry

Hi, I have to do a presentation/report about the H.C Hansen Type Foundry. They were located in Boston / NY. I was wondering if anyone had any pictures that I might be able to use showing anything related to this foundry? Even pictures of equipment that might have been used/made at this foundry Anything would help. Thanks in advance.

Log in to reply   4 replies so far

Jon - There are many references on the Internet on the history of this foundry. If you are near a large library, you might be able to find a copy of Annenberg’s Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogs. If you can find someone with a copy of the 1909 catalog, there is a four page history in the book.

I am attaching two photos below. Most catalogs like this show a lot of equipment for sale, but it is not always easy to know what is actually made by them or made by other companies.

image: hansen2.jpg


image: hansen1.jpg


Thank you very much. I’ve done a lot of research in the past few days. I have seen the building before, but no where have I seen a picture of Mr.Hansen himself. These are great and will help my presentation a lot.

I would love to get a picture of the 1909 catalog. I’ve found many online for sale, mostly in poor condition, but no pictures of the red cover.

I’ve read the section on this foundry by Maurice Annenberg in “Type Founders of America and Their Catalogs”

If anyone is interested, he mentions not knowing what the H.C. stands for. In my research, I’ve found it stands for Hans Christian and his sons that he describes as L.A and H.Alfred, are Luther A. and Henry Alfred. They had a sister Christina and their mother’s name was Christina. Mr. Hanson also had a brother George, also working at the foundry.

My sources are the 1880 census and “Saga in Steel and Concrete: Norwegian Engineers in America” by Kenneth Bjork published by the Norwegian-American Historical Association (NAHA) in 1947.

Again, Thank you very much for your help.

I once had a large font of 8 pt. Scotch Roman which I believe was cast by H. C. Hansen. As I recall, H. C. Hansen was the only foundry ever to use “V” shaped nicks in their type. (Nicks are the little indentations on the bottom side of the type body, which help to identify the font, and which also provide an easy way for the typesetter to be sure that all the letters are right side up). Because of this, H. C. Hansen type is very easy to identify. My font had “V” shaped nicks.

Jon - I am attaching a photo of the 1909 catalog. It is 9” x 12.” Next to it is a 4 1/2 x 9” catalog with 166 pages that Annenberg lists as 4.75 x 9.50,” c1910. It states that H. Alfred Hansen was general manager at that time. I am guessing that is why some of the initials in his catalogs are named Alfred, ie: A Alfred, J Alfred, and T Alfred.

The second photo shows the New York office. I don’t know if you have a photo of that branch.

We are still in the process of bringing the pin mark section from the old site to this new version, but it is not online yet, so I have attached a third photo of two of the pin marks that they used on their type.

image: hansen6.jpg


image: hansen5.jpg


image: hansen4.jpg