wood type identification

I have quite few fonts that has knicks(?) at the bottom. Any idea who manufactured these fonts? I acquired these from different sources over the years. I believe that these knicks were there since new, not added by some printer later on. None has any manufacturer’s mark. Interestingly I also have one entirely made of plastic. Many thanks in advance!!
Robert Lee

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In your second photo of a beveled gothic face, the Ss simply amaze me.I assume they were cut with a router, but much of the counters look to be chewed-out by a beaver!!!!!!!!!


I obtained my fonts from almost every shop, in the US, where I acquired wood type, but was never able to find-out who manufactured them. It was the only type that had unique things like parentheses and that saw-mark. Also, note that the descending points (, ;) were cut on short blocks. I was hoping that someone might find an old ad, or specimen book, and identify the manufacturer. John Horn, and MassArt have my wood type, now, and they might benefit from any help. I suspected that they were cut around the turn of the 20th-century, but that was just a guess.

Dave Greer

I have a face or two that has this same cut in the bottom. I haven’t been able to positively identify either, but they came with a batch of type that was mostly 1890s and early 1900s. I’ll try to post a photo and maybe we can figure it out!

Initially I thought this was an April 1st question and then realised you aren’t a letterpress printer. The nick is there for exactly the same reason as it is on metal type, to ensure the letters such as cap S are the right way up. Nicks can be found on solid wood type, veneered wood type, plastic on solid wood and perspex type.

Thanks for the help.
I have about 200 wood types. None has these nicks if types has manufacturer’s mark. These types with nicks always have parenthesis included. The only type manufacturer who offered parenthesis on their catalog to my knowledge is Empire Wood type.

Any idea on plastic type? anybody ever seen this kind?

Several German and Italian foundries offered ‘plastic’ type, the best known are probably the founts that were made in Plakadur – a resin product – by Berthold in Berlin. I have successfully made some type in Delrin, using a CNC machine.

Does anyone have any ad’s or specimen books for ‘plastic’ type?

I have a series of brochures from an Italian company, based in the north, that produced wood and plastic type. The Officinal Novepunti in Milan have several founts of plastic type from Italian manufacturers. I have several founts of Plakadur type from Berthold. In some of the type specimen, Berthold indicated that type was available in either poor or Plakadur.

Some pictures from Xilografia Adige, Verona (Italy) offering type ‘in legion e in plastic’ (in wood and in plastic) and Ludwig & Mayer.

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