Wood type maker’s mark = 98?

I’ve been sorting brought some new sets of type, and came a across a set of Cheltenham condensed that has a maker’s mark of “98.” Anyone have background on the manufacturer that used this mark?



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I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this, but am highly skeptical that it is a maker’s mark. The 9 and 8 are struck independently of each other (note their relative position on both pieces) and they are struck on the bottom, not the side, of the pieces.

Two thoughts. Perhaps they identified these pieces as being from “Wood font #98” in a shop, or they simply identified the owner. We will probably never know unless someone actually knows exactly why these are there.

One more thought - can you proof a print of the bottom of the type and post that? The saws used to plane the bottoms of the type at various manufacturers left a distinct curvature pattern that can now often be used to identify where otherwise unmarked fonts originated. I believe that this phenomenon was discovered by David Shields a few years ago.


That’s an ID mark of the who ever made the type, they had workers who moved the stuff around, for them it’s just wood, so they have id numbers so all the right pieces of wood combine into the right Font.

John Christopher from Flowers and Fleurons in the UK pointed out to me that DeLittle in York numbered their type. In my possession I have a double fount of Gill, and it bears the name of the manufacturer and the number that it appears under in their catalogue.

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Wow! I love the Delittle numbering scheme which is way is way more sophisticated than what is originally shown. The idea of putting a number for all the pieces of a specific font really appeals to me.