3” type

A friend ran across this 3” type and we are wondering if this looks familiar to anyone?

We are trying to identify.

Thanks for the help!

image:  robb mcdonough-6079.jpg

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image:  robb mcdonough-6078.jpg

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image:  robb mcdonough-6080.jpg

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Basically you have a 36-line (type is measured in lines, not inches) Gothic Condensed. Pretty ordinary as far as wood type goes.


It looks like the type is 3” tall?? Rick, if its 3” high letters that would make it 18 line, maybe my math is wrong???

While the typeface may be an ordinary Gothic Condensed (which looks to me to be closer to 12 line or so), the type height certainly doesn’t looks like the usual .918 or thereabouts — that’s the odd thing! What kind of press (or whatever) took type 3” tall from foot to face?

Woodtype manufacturers made woodtype not exclusively for Letterpress but rather any market they can serve. This may have been used in a hammer type handheld device, hand inked to mark packaging or such.

Must have had too many libations when I posted yesterday. Dick is correct that 3” equals 18 lines, but I FAILED to notice that the 3” was the actual height, not the body size, of the type. YIKES!!!! I have no clue what kind of machine these would have been used in. Talk about deep impression!!!!!!!! Note the little notch/nick in the bottom photo.


An interesting looking case there. Probably was a tool box of some kind.

Clearly this is type for taller folks.

By that, I mean it is obvious to me that this type is intended to be more ergonomically hand-inked and printed by someone who is taller. Short/little people need not apply ink to this type.

Haven’t you ever heard of a ladder.

No, I think this is type for vertically challenged people so that they can feel more adequate.


Dick, are you saying you use this type to get high?