BB&S Identification

I have a Barnhart Brothers & Spindler type font that I haven’t been able to find in BB&S specimen books. It is pin marked BB&S 48 CHICAGO. It shares some style features with several non-BB&S fonts, but does not match any 100%. Some features are similar to Binner and ATF’s Globe Gothic series. The R looks like a match for ATF’s McCullough series. The O, o and Q show influence from Inland Type Foundry’s Inland series (pat. Oct. 29, 1885).

image: BBS9600xxx.gif


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Try reuploading the photo with the ampersand removed. The forum here doesn’t like it when file names have funny characters :)

The face is shown in the 1893 BB&S Pony Specimen book on page 215. Its name is “Drew”. There is also a condensed version which is named “Opaque”.

John Henry
Cedar Creek Press

A more accurate date for Drew may be 1896. My 1893-94 BB&S book does not show Drew or Opaque. The later BB&S Pony Specimen book, undated but listed in the literature as 1896 or 1897, shows Drew on pp. 214-215. The condensed version called Opaque is on pages 212-213. Both are listed as “Patent Pending.” Opaque has design patent no. 25552, dated May 26, 1896, with the designer Charles E. Heyer. Often only one version of a type design was patented, leaving variations unpatented. So, I would date Drew at 1896—unless, John, your book actually has an 1894 date imprinted in it.

Motorrad: The Inland typeface was patented Oct. 29 1895 (not 1885). Inland Type Foundry began business in 1894.

Just wanted to clean up those details.

You’re correct, Bob. I looked online in the Pony Specimen for 1893-4 and don’t see it. The book I found the face in is not dated, except for a notation in pencil of 1893 on the title page. It must be the later edition of 1896 that you refer to. I do notice, however, online that the “Blue Book” of 1896 on the circuitous Route site doesn’t have that face or “Opaque”.

John Henry

Bob & John, many thanks