Wood type with nick

Hi all,
Looking for some information on a font I was looking lucky enough to pick up. It appears to be Hobo, but this is the first time I’ve seen wood type mimicking metal with a nick ( see picture posted). Just curious about when and why they did this? Thanks he font has a Hamilton stamp so wondered if this was a practice ice that was meant to compete with metal?

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Also with a nick. My guess would be for the same reason that metal type has a nick. It makes it very easy to tell orientation at a glance. A quick glance shows you which letters are upside down.

I think the likely explanation for the nick is that several of the sign press sets such as ShowCard, essentially a roller press with a few fonts of wood type, were common in department stores and similar businesses for production of POS advertising material. These used a set of rods that snapped into slots on the sides of the bed and held the type in place, instead of a lockup bar and quoins, and the system was quite functional for the purpose. The “kits” have been broken up and the presses are popular for proofing or even limited production now, and the type has found other homes.


Looking at an image of a show card press with type rods, and wood type in use….


You can see that the type sits on the rod, this implies a hole through the side or a slot in the bottom of the type. A nick on one side would only allow for rolling in one direction, rolling the other way would potentially push the type off of the rod.

The showcard wood type that sits on the rails as seen on the link from Zwack was from the Showcard Machine Company of Chicago, https://www.scribd.com/doc/129989561/Showcard-Machine-Co-Catalog

In Europe the type wasFrench height and sold by Sofadi.

My thought is that the large nick is for storage, a row of letters are held against a rail.

It is interesting to note that the wood sort that Zwack found has a nick on the foot, while the ones in the original post had the “nick” on the head end of the sorts.

John Henry
Cedar Creek Press

Resurrecting this old thread… If you look at both photos of wood type in the latest makers mark 98? thread you will find that both sets shown also have nicks.