Continental Type Founders Association

Does anyone have a link to good scans of specimens offered by the Continental Type Founders Association? I’m interested in the best view I can get of actual specimen books from the firm, not a general list of faces offered. Thank you.


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I don’t know of any scans of Continental specimens online, but since Continental was founded by Melbert Brinckerhoff Cary, Jr and his library formed the basis of the Melbert Cary collection at R.I.T., you might wish to inquire there.

If you go to the R.I.T. library search engine
and search on Continental Type Founders
you’ll find that they have Nos. 2, 3, and 4 of the Continental specimen book.

Was there any relation between the Continental Type Founders Association and Amsterdam Continental Types, Inc. (which imported not only Lettergieterij Amsterdam type but also type from several other European manufacturers)?

David M. MacMillan

Thank you. I’m working on an introduction for a speaker and won’t have a chance to visit other collections beforehand. I wish I could teleport to visit RIT collections for the afternoon—a lovely thought.

I don’t know if there’s a relationship between Continental and Amsterdam Continental Types, Inc. (Continental imported from Enschede in Holland.)



I have the 5th Edition from 1930. What are you looking for in it?

It’s an absolutely gorgeous book.

Oh, don’t tease me jonsel!

I’m looking at types used by Peter Beilenson in the Peter Pauper Press books. He worked for Cary (and Goudy) in the late 20s, and there are several ids I want to confirm. I’m guessing Continental would be a good source for me. There are other paths, too, but this was today’s track.

Thank you.


I discovered I have a circa 1960 pamphlet specimen from Amsterdam Continental Types and they list around sixteen different foundries they represented—Enschede and more!

Hi Tracy,

The catalog I have has a paperback green cover and is about 3/8” thick. I suspect it may be the 1960 version.

If you can make it over to Zion, IL on May 7 for Paul Aken’s annual Spring Type Sale, I’ll bet he has a few Continental catalogs in his library that you can look at.

Rick von Holdt

David Wolski on Letterpress Daily did show some specimen of Amsterdam Continental Types. If I’m not completely mistaken, they sold a selection of Continental types in the USA: Amsterdam Typefoundry, Ensched√©, Bauer, and Nebiolo. Was it a branch of the Amsterdam Typefoundry? Or an American company?


I’ll post a few photos of it tomorrow. If you want particular pages scanned, I can do that for you.


Here’s a scan of a 12 page booklet by Amsterdam Continental Types, Inc. listing many of the types they imported:

It must date from after 1963 (the introduction of ZIP codes).

David M. MacMillan


Your best bet might be to post a photo of the particular face in display you wish to “id” and anyone with European specimens could help you out. There doesn’t appear to be a CTF Assn. book on-line at this point, but the types they distributed would be represented in other specimens as well.

John Henry
(Who is ever thankful to the generosity of Mary Flagler Cary (Melbert’s wife) for helping fund my education at RIT through a fellowship)

Apologies for the poor quality of the iPhone pics. I’m happy to scan anything in you might find interesting. I included a page of Goudy since you mentioned him directly.

image: titlepage.jpg


image: foundries.jpg


image: goudy.jpg


image: sphinx.jpg


image: caslon_lutetia.jpg


And here’s the cover.

image: cover.jpg



That’s the catalog that I have. Does anyone have an approximate date that this was issued?


The title page says April, 1930. :-)

What excellent company you are! (And via email Paul Aken and I have been in touch, along with David.) Thank you all.

Thank you for the scans and references. It’s a handsome specimen book. I’m happy to see as much as I can. There are some individual ids I need to make, but I was more interested in a sense of the whole. Beilenson uses many different typefaces once Peter Pauper Press starts humming and with his relationship to Cary I was assuming this influenced his purchasing of type along with his aesthetics as a typographer.

Today’s a printing day, so I have to defer close study. I’ll write again.

Btw, as far as I know the two firms are not related. The materials I’ve seen from the Amsterdam Continental Types are all from the 1960s.