New England Type Foundry Specimen Guide

Since the New England Type Foundry used the unique numbering system for classifying the type, does anyone know of an online resource/guide for identifying the specimens?

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According to Annenberg, the New England Type Foundry existed in Boston from 1824 - 1886. He notes that few, if any, original designs where created there and that for the most part their faces were “borrowed” by duplicating matrices from other foundries. There is a reference on Google to a book titled Specimens of Printing Types from the New England Type Foundry (Hardbound) that is no longer available on Amazon.

I seriously doubt if there is an online resource/guide for identifying the specimens, but if you do discover such, please share that source with the rest of us.

I think tjriver is actually interested in the system used by Kelsey in numbering fonts from their “New England Type Foundry” rather than the actual foundry from the 19th Century.

Kelsey labeled their fonts with numbers rather than face names on the packages, and it is not surprising that confusion reigns. I don’t know of a kelsey catalog available online for perusal, but they do come up for sale quite often. If you would like to list the numbers in which you have an interest, I’d be happy to identify the faces for you from my catalog.


The feedback is much appreciated.

JGHenry - I’m looking to ID numbers 6, 82 and 14.

Thanks in advance!

I probably should have realized that. Kelsey did sell their type as either Connecticut Type or New England Type. The matrices were from other sources so they almost always changed the name as well.

Here is a list on the New England Type from Kelsey; (real name and source in parenthesis)

6 Centenary (Century Expanded - ATF)
14 Modern Bodoni (Ultra Bodoni - Mono)
19 Mayfair Initials (Bernhard Tango Swash Caps - ATF)
19 Chelten Bold (Cheltenham Bold - Mono)
20 Park Lane Initials (Artscript - Mono)
21 Westminster Initials (Goudy Text - Mono)
22 & 23 Plaza Initials (Slimline - Mono)
26 Margery (Greeting Monotone - Intertype)
27 Typewriter Type
32 Light Old English (Wedding Text - Mono)
82 Cable Bold (San Serif Bold - Mono)
83 Cable Light (San Serif Light - Mono)
84 Centenary Italic (Century Expanded Italic - ATF)
85 Egyptian Bold (Stymie Bold - Mono)
86 Bodoni
87 Modern Gothic (Franklin Gothic - Mono)
88 Highspot (Flash - Mono)
89 Frascati (Hadriano Stonecut - Mono)
90 Plaza (Slimline- Mono)
91 Beacon Hill (Park Avenue - Intertype)
92 Regent (Onyx - Mono)
93 Saybrook Script (Kaufmann Bold - Mono)
94 Shadow
95 Egyptian Light (Stymie Light - Mono)
96 Sans Condensed (20th Century Medium Cond. - Mono)
97 Westminster Text (Goudy Text - Mono)
98 Sans Medium (20th Century Medium - Mono)
PC Light Copperplate Gothic
BC Bold Copperplate Gothic

I have no clue why the number 19 is used for two different faces.

I hope this is of help to anyone interested.

I have fonts of Kelsey New England (including the Mayfair in 24pt) and the bottom (foot?) is grooved, but the groove is way “off-center”.

Did ATF ever groove their type “off center”? I assumed that the Mayfair was monotype.

That’s a huge help. Thank you!!

You will find that almost all hard foundry type (ATF, etc.) has the groove ploughed through the center. A Thompson caster produces a ploughed groove that is off center. Monotype mats can be used to cast on a Thompson caster.

PointFive: I’m sure that any of ATF’s Barth casters under 72 pt. dressed the type with a center groove, as that was how the mould and nozzle were built, but I’ve never seen any ATF equipment over 72 pt. I’m pretty sure I will be visiting the Dale Guild in the next couple weeks, so I can ask if you want.

I know that there were probably some historical hand molds with side jets, and that would have been some interesting type…but I’m far, far from an expert.

I seem to recall that Kelsey marketed ATF faces under their “Connecticut Type Foundry” Label, and Monotype and Thompson-cast faces under the “New England Type Foundry moniker.

That could explain why the groove wound not be centered in the font you have, Pointfive.

Can anyone confirm the reality of what I just posted? I’m just depending on memory at this point.


I was recently given 11 cases of New England Type Foundry Type. The list included here was a great help but there are four drawers that I have not been able to identify - they are labeled as follows:

# 4, # 5, # 30, # 38 I would appreciate any info.

Thanks so much, Pat

maybe the numbers are supposed to be the following????


The plot thickens! The four fonts of Kelsey type that you have listed above were offered under their Connecticut Type Foundry listings. Unlike their New England Types numbering system listed above, the Connecticut Type Foundry numbering system is totally different. New England had a designated number of each specific face (see above), but Connecticut types all had a different number for each individual size of each face. The numbers bounce all over the place in no logical order, so you have to look up the SPECIFIC font by number, which then tells you the face AND the size.

That being said, your fonts are:
#184 - 18pt. Heavy Old English (Engravers Old English from ATF)
#1838 - 18pt. Fairfield (Murray Hill Bold from ATF)
#518 - 18pt. Announcement Script (Typo Upright from ATF)
#3010 - 10 pt. Bernhard Gothic Medium

Kelsey often changed the name of the faces, so I have included the original name of the type in parenthesis.

Thanks so much - not just for the typeface names but for the historical info!


Don’t forget Donaldson - I have a type case with an original label that says “10 pt. Ronaldson No. 2 or No. 665”
“This type cast at the Kelsey Press Co. Meriden, Conn. USA