Can anyone identify this font? It is 60 point Baltimore Type Foundry and was mixed in a case with various monogram types. Given the figures and punctuation, however, I am assuming it is not a monogram font. Any font and/or year help is appreciated.
The Norlu Press
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Sorry for not attaching the other photo. Here it is.
I happened to be looking through Annenberg’s history of U.S. Type foundries and saw a similar font from Boston Type Foundry. After checking out Luc Devroye’s page on the Boston Type Foundry at http://luc.devroye.org/fonts-39565.html I was able to identify my mystery font as Facade Condensed, introduced in 1892. Any idea about the rarity of this face?
The Norlu Press
The information, in another book (Loy), shows that the caps were designed by Julius Herriet, Jr., circa 1881, for The Boston Type Foundry. The lower-case was designed by Gustave Schroeder, for Central, probably around the date that you mentioned. (See Bob Mullen’s book, “Recasting a Craft”—2005, for more information about Central).
As to rarity, most collectors, that I knew-of, had at least one size of it, but neither I, nor T.J. Lyons, had 60-point. So, your font may be about a 7, on a 1- to 10- rarity scale, with 10 being the rarest.
Thank you for the help, which provides good context. Does the “BTF” pinmark indicate the font predates the acquisition of Boston Type Foundry by Central? I am not very familiar with pin marks, and had assumed that the “BTF” indicted Baltimore Type Foundry before doing some research.
The Norlu Press
Thanks for the identification. I knew the source, but not the rarity. I have a full 72 pt. Facade font, caps, l.c., figures, with the “BTF 72” pinmark. The 30 pt caps were recast in the 1950s, I think by Steve Watt.
The Boston Type Foundry was NOT acquired by the Central Type Foundry. The Boston Type Foundry was incorporated into ATF. Baltimore Type Foundry (actually a Monotype operation) came up with their BTF pinmark decades later.
Facade Condensed is a condensed version of Facade, which is a condensed version of Mural. ALL three of these faces were originally designed as caps only by Julius Herriet Jr. AND John F. Cumming at the Boston Type Foundry and patented May 31, 1881. In 1891 Gustav Schroeder added a lowercase to Facade Condensed while he worked at the Central Type Foundry - and, with this addition it became known as Facade Condensed No. 2.
I am very partial to Facade Condensed No. 2. A few decades ago I was climbing through the stored residue of a large printing company in Northern Wisconsin and found many delightful goodies there. But the biggest MOTHERLOAD that I acquired there was a 24, 30, 36, 42, 48, 54, 60 and 72 pt. run of Facade Condensed No.2!!!!!!! Not only that, but each font was in its own case and plentiful!
Rick- Thanks for the clarification. Your precision and accuracy are extremely helpful, and much appreciated!
Given your explanation about the BTF pinmark for the Baltimore Type Foundry appearing decades after the incorporation of the Boston Type Foundry into ATF, what does the “BTF” pinmark on my 60-point Facade Condensed indicate? Is it a “Baltimore Type Foundry” casting of Facade Condensed?
Dating a type’s age by the pinmark is not an exact science. Typefounders did not necessarily take the time to change the pinmark immediately after a change in name or ownership—this required changing and re-engraving the drag pin in the various molds. For instance, the Johnson pinmark is known to have been used well into the Mackellar, Smiths and Jordan era and possibly into the ATF era after its formation 1892, even though Lawrence Johnson died in 1860. I have some type marked Central Type Foundry that I know was made after ATF bought out that company in 1892.
The BTF pinmark on your Facade Condensed is older, certainly in use during the 1880s, but may also have been used into the 1890s and the ATF era. I have an art nouveau-style cut marked “BTF” that is likely from the 1890s. In the later 1890s the Boston foundry used the “A” pinmark, standing for Foundry A, the Boston Branch of ATF. The St. Louis Branch was Foundry F, and used that letter in some pinmarks, though it is quite rare. I have a font of 18 pt. Celtic that is marked “A” for Boston, but the numerals are marked Central. Another font is marked Central, but the numerals have the “BTF” mark. So, your font of Facade Condensed can probably be dated from the early 1880s to the mid-1890s.
To clear up the history about the Central and Boston type foundries, no, the Central Type Foundry did not, technically, buy the Boston Type Foundry. However, in 1888 the two main owners of Central, Carl Schraubstadter and James St. John, purchased controlling interest in the Boston firm. St. John took over the management of the Boston company, but that company continued to run independently of Central—though they did share matrices and published some combined specimen catalogs. Both companies were the only foundries purchased for cash by ATF when it began in 1892.
Wow! This all covers just about everything you would want to know about Facade Condensed!
Jim, to perfectly clarify the pinmark thing, Boston Type Foundry did use the BTF mark and they tehnically dissolved in 1892. It was well into the 20th century before Baltimore Type Foundry, also known as Baltotype, was established and decided to incorporate a BTF pinmark on their castings. Normally, Monotype casters do not have a stamped pinmark, so they went out of their way to do this.
Bob-Thanks for the highly detailed and informative background. That was exactly the kind of information I was hoping to learn. I am really a printer, as opposed to a collector, and your knowledge, along with insights fromDave, Darrell and Rick have been enlightening. I love this forum!