I recently acquired a type-case with some “interesting” (weird) looking type. The writing on the case reads “18pt Incline Pencraft”. Attached is an image (sorry about the blur - I have an old digital camera). Under a loupe-magnifier glass the sides of the types says “18 Chicago Type Foundry”.
(a) Is Incline Pencraft the correct name of this typeface?
(b) Anyone know the history of this typeface?
Thanks in advance.
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My 1890 Marder, Luse (Chicago Type Fdy.) specimen book shows the name of the type as MODOC. It was cast in four sizes; 12, 18, 24 & 36 pt. One note says that it was patented on 8/12/1884. I don’t have any other information on it.
Knowing the name helps tremendously - thanks!
Given the name, it only took a couple of minutes to “round up the usual suspects.”
Modoc is mentioned in Loy’s series of articles “Designers and Engravers of Type” in The Inland Printer, v. 23 n. 6 (Sept. 1899), installment no. 20 on John Graham. This series has of course been reprinted in a lovely illustrated annotated edition by Saxe and Johnston as _Nineteenth Century American Designers and Engravers of Type_ (a must-have book). Modoc is shown on p. 113.
It was patented in 1884 by John Graham. US Design Patent 15,237 issued 1884-08-12. Here’s a PDF of the patent:
It was shown a few years later in The Inland Printer, v. 4, n. 5 (Feb., 1887): 340. By chance I’ve scanned this volume. Here’s a low-res version of the scan:
and here’s the 17 Meg original PNG of the scan:
This Inland Printer showing was also reproduced in Annenberg’s _A Typographical Journey through the Inland Printer_, on p. 164.
It was also shown in (at least) the 1889 Marder, Luse _Abridged Specimen Book of Printing Type_. This is online, in a Google Book scan with Google and Hathi Trust versions, at:
(page 68 of the Google Books PDF).
David M. MacMillan
Thanks Dave & David.
I’m not sure how the type-case got labelled as “incline pencraft” (which is a long way from “Modoc”). Perhaps it was just a simple mistake on the part of the previous owner(s).
Thank you also for the scanned PDF (really helps). Now that I see the specimen sheet with various type sizes, Modoc actually looks quite beautiful (not weird after all).
I was about to get my copy of the Loy book, when I saw that David had already cited chapter & verse. And thank you for your kind words, David!
Your use of the book is exactly why I wanted to reprint the articles, illustrated by all the typefaces (scanned from my specimen books) and with added indexes to make it easy to find the faces and the patents for them.