Old wood typefaces


I’m the happy owner of an old small letterpress that came with some typefaces. Some I identified, but other no…
Can you help?
Sorry if they are too many in just one post.

Many thanks in advance.


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Your are not going to find these as coming from American wood type manufacturers. I believe that what you are showing are all from European sources (probably English or French).



Thank you for the info.
Not to abuse, but can you point some foundry names from england or france that produced wood typefaces?
Thanks again for the info.


Day & Collins, Delittle & Stephenson Blake are three that spring immediately to mind but there are many more like Caslon, Figgins etc from England.

I’m sure there is someone more knowledgable out there that could help.

St Brides Library is a good place to start the ID process, are you in the UK?


No, but will be in St Brides Library a day in week 29.
I’m Portuguese…so wont be easy. Perhaps ask the help to someone there?



When you are there, be sure to specifically ask to see the Wood Type manufacturers catalogs. Stephenson Blake did have their own wood type manufacturing and did issue stabnd-alone wood type specimen books for it. Caslon offered wood type but was probably made by someone else. Most oif the others ONLY manufactured wood type (Delittle, etc.) You designs are unique and have some style to them so they should be easy to identify once you find them.


What I see there is most likely to be German woodtype.


You can book an appointment to see the staff there, they are really helpful (it can be done via their website).

But your best bet is to ask to speak to Nigel.

The Day & Collins/Delittle books need to be brought out from the archive so make sure you ask for them.

You can spend a whole day in there, and more! Good luck.

Here are the known English manufacturers. St Bride has examples of at least one of almost all of their catalogs.

Benjamin Brierley; B. Joyce; Joyce & Company; Caslon; D. Lawrence; Day & Collins, Ltd.; DeLittle; Eyre & Spottiswoode Limited; Frederick Ullmer; H.M. Sellers & Co.; J. Alcock; J.C. Paul & Son; J. & R. M. Wood; John Esson; John Haddon & Co.; Miller & Richard; Poynder & Son; Sir Charles, Reed & Sons; Soldan & Co.; Stephenson, Blake & Co.; Stoer Brothers & Coles Limited; T. Dobb & Co.; W. H. Bonnewell & Co.; Wicks Rotary Type-Casting Co.; and last but not least V. & J. Figgins.

Take theprintproject’s advice: ask to speak to Nigel.

I am inclined to agree with Mr Gravemaker, these may be German in origin, I can’t seem to find any of these in the English specimen books I have access to. I also agree with RIck that none of these are American (in origin or production).

If you do identify them would love to hear back from you in that regard.

all the best


Thanks everyone for the input…here are the updates:

1- I already made contact with St. Bride library (asked for Nigel…). Expecting feedback.

2- From my readings in some books I read that type used here in Portugal came from Europe. France/England/Germany and Belgium (?)…

3- I did not post another type that came with the machine because I managed to identify it: Bristol (http://cg.scs.carleton.ca/~luc/Plantin-Bristol+Carlton-12.gif)
This is not wood also its on a diferent material, but placed on wood.

I also managed to identify the supplier of Bristol (an old portuguese campany). I will try to identify this company and check if some type specimen exist. This will be very hard and dificulty.

4- Since Bristol was produced by Établissements Plantin (an Brussels-based foundry) perhaps this will be a good point of start, no?

any specimens of this company online?

5- Here some names of german companies with some typefaces with the same feeling (saw some imagens on web):
Bauer & co., Stuttgart & H. Berthold. Berlin
Bauersche Schriftgiesserei

Someone knows any specimens of these online?


Antonio, from back when I was visiting Portugal I remember something about a printing museum or exhibit in Oporto (National Printing Museum, Oporto, Portugal) — I never got up there to see it (I was spending my time in Alentejo). If there is still such a place they may have information about Portuguese type makers.

Some old wood type was made with (I think) celluloid letters mounted on wood — that may be what you have. I think the plastic was molded and then glued to the wood.

Good luck!


Etablissements Plantin in Brussels and Antwerp formed part of the Lettergieterij Tetterode, also known as the Amsterdam Typefoundry. Not every European foundry manufactured the woodtype that they sold themselves. For the specimen of the Bauer and Stempel foundries, get in touch with the Klingspor museum in Offenbach on Main.


The museum that you speak is the “Museu nacional da Imprensa”. I have visited it for several times…in one time e sugested that they catalogued the typefaces showned but the person said that they dont qualified staff to do that…:(

Its still open and running. I recently visited in order to get acess to some type specimens (very, very small collection), but did not acess one that was in exibition that had big letters (perhaps wood). I’m going to try get acess to it…

You where in my favorite region of Portugal (Alentejo).:)

Thank you thomas for the info.


Just checking - You have looked on the sides of the letter ‘A’ to see if there is a manufacturer’s mark???

yes I did…and found in one the supplier. The funny thing is that typeface I was abble to identify…

Like I said earlier “I also managed to identify the supplier of Bristol (an old portuguese campany). I will try to identify this company and check if some type specimen exist. This will be very hard and dificulty.”

The ideia is to check what other typefaces this company had and check if any match mine…

But thanks for checking :)

Can someone tell me roughly the dates Benjamin Brairely was making type, please? Also, does anyone know of a W. Huggins?

Brierley…my typo.