Wood type identification

Hi all,

I have collected some wood types (here in Belgium, Europe) and am wondering which types they are …

With kind regards


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uploading didn’t go very well, here a two more …

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and numbers 5 and 6 …

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… and the last one, number 7.

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Hi Niels,

Can’t tell you what the European names of these faces are. But I can tell the original names of two of the faces, which are of American origin.

Your third photo shows a face that was designed for the Central Type Foundry by Gustav Schroeder in 1886 and was named Washington. It was immediately a very popular style and was soon followed by an extra condensed version named Lafayette in 1889 and then a condensed version in 1890 named Jefferson. Your last photo is a rendition of Lafayette. There was also a thinner version of Washington named Webster.

These were all designed as metal foundry typefaces.

Being so popular, it is not surprising that the designs were also translated into wood type faces. I can tell you that I have seen both Washington and Lafayette made into wood type by Italian wood type manufacturers. There is a version of Lafayette done by Luigi Melchiore and a version of Washington offered by F. Salvetti.

Those can be seen in a magnificent book published by Tipoteca Italiana titled Alphabets of Wood in 2014.

Unfortunately those fonts are not named. I would not be surprised if other wood type manufacturers in Europe also produced their own versions of these popular designs.

Your other fonts have a distinctly European flavor to them as opposed to American designs.


Thank you, Rick! I’ll try to get a copy of the book by the Tipoteca, if it is still available.

You won’t go wrong getting that book. It was written by James Clough and Chiara Scattolin and it is a gorgeous and very informative addition for any printing library. If you love wood type, this is an amazing book.

If I remember correctly, they should be available directly from Tipoteca Italiana. I got mine at the Hamilton Wood Type Museum’s gift shop. I also believe that this is the only place that they are sold in the US.