Does anyone know if the Empire Type Company put its manufacturer’s mark on all wood type letters, or just random pieces? Thanks
Log in to reply 6 replies so far
I don’t know specifically, but it would be unusual for a wood type maker to mark any but the cap A, although I do know of a font by Wm H Page, in the historic village where I volunteer, where they also marked the lower case a.
Don’t have any of my reference materials nearby, but…… yes there were fonts where a character other than the A had the makers mark on it. Its probably been a decade or two since I ran across this, but it is true. I just can’t recall offhand the specific details.
I believe that every letter, of the Empire font, that I had, was marked, but I do not have those fonts any more. Ask John Horn if he can find it in his collection. Here is the page from my specimen book No. 6, showing the face, on page 89, but not the mark.
I just checked the font from Dave’s collection. The cap “A” are stamped with the number “20.” I found random letters stamped on the side where a nick would be on metal type. One of three “L” were stamped as was one of three “W.”
There were at least two “Empire” type companies in New York State that made wood type.
Empire Type Foundry (Delevan, NY) and Empire Wood Type Co. (New York, NY) were two different companies, unrelated.
Empire Type Foundry began making wood type in 1916 or 1917 and ended its manufacture sometime between 1923 and 1926.
Empire Wood Type Company started in 1901 and in 1936 its assets/patterns were sold to American Wood Type Co., also of New York City.
A third, and earlier “Empire” company to make type was Empire State Type Foundry - according to Annenberg, they made foundry type and ceased operation in the early 1890’s. I know of no reference as to whether or not they made or sold wood type.
Thanks, Michael - you have just solved a big puzzle for me! Here are the two stamps. The Empire W.T.Co. stamp only appears on the A’s.
The Empire Type Foundry stamp appears on a letter “X”. As it was discovered by itself in a box of sorts, unfortunately I cannot say what, if any, other letters in the font may have been stamped.
You can see a few more sparse details here: