Two little typefaces

Howdy y’all -

I’ve got a railroad invoice from 1902 with two typefaces that look pretty good together. I thought I would try to re-create the overall aesthetic for something else, but I’m having trouble pinning them down, or finding suitable alternatives. I recognize them both but I can’t place them. Any ideas?

The photos aren’t great but I think they’re clear enough. I’m looking for the serif and the sans serif both.

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Here are the images.

image: photo (1).JPG

photo (1).JPG

image: photo.JPG


The sans-serif face could be imitated quite closely with a condensed version of Helvetica or other non-descript san face.

The italic is Law Italic.

Many thanks. Law Italic is a good one to know. I had tried condensing Arial to 90% and changing the spacing, and it came close, but I was under the impression that that kind of manipulation wasn’t good to do.


You probably won’t have much luck condensing Arial, Helvetica, etc. to capture the same ‘flavor.’

What you need is an older, more eccentric sans serif to start with. Note the high cross bars on the A and R for instance. Also the curved leg on the R. These things a subtle, but they are exactly what gives that font the character that has attracted you to it. The cleaned-up contemporary sans serifs are way too sterile to get you where you want to be.


It’s also pretty similar to News Gothic, except for the leg of the R — you could use that to get close until you find the original face — News Gothic dates from 1908.


Thanks for the advice, everyone. Just what I needed.