Typeface identification of Old Carnival

I am working on a set of specimen sheets of my type library & I would like to have accurate identification of fonts where it is possible; I have 42 point Old Carnival from LATF, but they do not identify it in any way. They had the matrices of Charles Broad & John S. Carrol for historic electros they produced, but they don’t say which of these did this one, or do they give any idea of the originating foundry & date.

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For some reason the image will not load, but the face does appear in almost any version of the LATF catalogs. Any suggestions for getting an image up would be helpful.

Old Carnival (42 pt only) appears in a flyer issued by LATF soon after its acquisition of Typefounders, Inc. (of Phoenix; Charles Broad’s company). Here’s a scan:


This would suggest strongly that it originated with Broad (but as a copy of what and by whom I don’t yet know).

It does not appear in the Typefounders, Inc. (of Phoenix) Specimen 7A of 1962, so that gives you an early terminus.

The matrices for this face (42 point only) are currently with Skyline Type Foundry (listed in Sky’s matrix inventory online). Skyline acquired the materials of Barco in November 2010, and Barco had in turn acquired LATF.

David M.

The image filename can not contain any special characters — letters and numbers only, preferably without spaces. Try that.


It’s my understanding that many if not all of Charles Broad’s antique revival faces were cast from electrodeposited mats made by Andrew Dunker from original 19th C types. I doubt if there were any records Andy kept, preserved. I’d guess the only way to know where the face came from is to stumble onto it in an early foundry catalog — the earliest one was probably pirated by later foundries. The name may not even be the original — I gather Charlie frequently renamed faces also.


I believe that the “Phoenix” revival faces came from a number of sources, including Harry Weidemann (who started with an electroformed copy of MSJ’s Arboret No. 2 in the 1940s, made for him by Williams Engineering in England) and John Carroll (and of course possibly Dunker). As AdLibPress notes, tracing the many copies of these faces, usually with new names/numbers, is complex.

For a start on Weidemann, see:


I must apologize that most of the links, especially intra-typeface ones, won’t work yet - this is part of a work-in-progress and not really ready for prime time. But see especially the faces by Weidemann listed in “Printers Trouble Shooter” in 1958. These will be familiar from later Phoenix/LATF specimens.

More generally, the section on antique revivals in the back of McGrew is an excellent starting point - he does trace several faces by Weidemann/Carroll/Broad back a bit, and is good about identifying faces by Carroll. (No help on Old Carnival, alas.)

Nicolette Gray’s XIXth Century Ornamented Types and Title Pages is also useful, as is Stephen Saxe’s recent edition of Loy as “Nineteenth Century American Designers and Engravers of Type.”

David M.

Thanks to all of the above. I will check Loy & Gray which I have. McGrew does list Old Bailey 42 point which I also have from LATF. Stephen Saxe is amazing & identified a couple of mid 19th c. cuts of Gutenberg & Fust & Schoeffer which I found in a box of junk.

Ah, the plot thickens. I have Old Carnival in my collection and suspect that it may not have been a foundry face before Charles Broad cast it at TF Phoenix. This may well have been a phototype face or something drawn for him.

I say this because all of his mats were not necessarily acquired from others. He actually did have a company in Japan make matrices for him from two-dimensional proofs that he provided to them.

I know this because the late Herb Harnish had provided Broad with a proof of his font of what Broad issued as Thunderbird. The one little nuance about all fonts of this face issued by Broad (and everyone else since) is that the E has a very worn serif on it. That is because Harnish’s proof had that defect in it. I got this story directly from Herb Harnish many years ago.


I FOUND IT!!!!!!!

I just happened to see an image of a page from George Bruce’s Son & Co. Abridged Specimen Book from 1869 and there is a specimen line of this face!!!! The image is of page 86 from that book. Unfortunately, Bruce numbered most of his faces and this one is simply listed as Six-Line Pica Ornamented No. 5.

But at least now we can confirm that it actually was a legitimate 19th-century foundry face.


I have a copy of a catalogue from Typefounders of Phoenix which is undated, but identified as Volume 10. It is also over-stamped by Castcraft in Chicago. Most of the types listed are titled by the name that they were sold, but underneath (almost) each showing is a line identifying the original source for the type. A fine reference if any of you ever need it. Unfortunately Old Carnival is not in the catalogue as it must have been a late addition.


Great info Paul! I had actually forgotten that little tidbit.

I do have a few comments to add to that.

Circus is listed as Bruce Ornamented #881 (c.1865), but this face was shown much earlier by some French founderies.

Latin Ornate is listed from the Connor foundry as Italian Ornate (????) My copy of the 1888 Connor catalog shows it as Latin Ornate.

Staccato is credited as a wood type face from Page. That is true but it was also a metal face from Bruce. There is also a modified wood version from a different maker.

Vaudeville has no credit and I strongly suspect that this was never a metal font and Broad had mats engraved from line artwork. Of course I thought the same about Old Carnival until I just found it.