New to wood type…


I recently acquired a Nolan proof press, and even more recently, I bought the poor lonely leftovers of a six line font of wood type shown in the photo. These we all the letters left. Can anyone point me in the right direction to identify it, and hopefully find a book or other reference that would give me a good idea of what the missing letters looked like? I’d like to try to carve some replacements by hand so I can use it while am getting the hang of my new press.

Thank you!

image: wood type.jpg

wood type.jpg

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the face appears to be a version of Stymie Bold. Various manufacturers may have called this something else like “Slab Serif 1” or such, but it is based on the Stymie face. If you do an online search for Stymie Bold, you will find many citations and will find full Cap alphabets to view the other letters.

Thanks - I actually have Stymie in several sizes and weights in metal type, up through 48 point bold, and that’s the initial reason these orphaned letters appealed to me. However, looking at them closely next to my metal Stymie, they seemed just different enough that I wasn’t sure that they were the same typeface. Is it just a case of different manufacturers making each typeface in their own way, but using the same name? Are there any particularly good books out there that anyone would recommend as a visual reference in learning about and identifying type?

As John Henry has posted, this face matches Hamilton’s cutting of Stymie Bold, No. 813. In the 19th-century, this face was known as Antique Light Face. The wood cuttings will differ, slightly, from the metal face.

As far as references go, you can’t go wrong by getting Mac McGrew’s “American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century,” for metal, and a reprint of *Hamilton’s. “Specimens of Wood Type Faces (seventeenth edition),” for wood type, as well as Kelly’s “American Wood Type: 1828—1900.”
*Note: the Stymie Bold typeface will only appear in a later catalog, after ca.1931.

Dave Greer

Thanks - that is a great help!