Typefounders Phoenix revival type info.

In a previous thread, Paul Ritscher mentioned that Typefounders Phoenix specimen catalog Volume 10 had information about the originating foundry for each of their revival castings. I have decided to list those faces here, along with the information that Charles Borad offered at that time - as well as some additional comments of my own.

There were additional catalogs issued and some additional faces, but I am going to concentrate at this time on what is shown in Volume 10.

Here goes:

Anglo - Great Western Type Foundry (later incorporated into BB&S). c. 1889.

Arboret - McKS&J. Actual name was Arboret No. 2. Designed by Herman Ihlenburg and Patented Feb. 10, 1885.

Argent - Cleveland Type Foundry. c. 1885

Bamboo - Great Western Type Foundry. Original name was Freak.

P T Barnum - Bruce’s Ornamented #341. This was originally issued by BB&S as French Clarendon.

Bradley - American Type Founders. Designed by Herman Ihlenburg in 1895.

Bruce Mikita - Bruce’s Ornamented #1048. Original name was Rustic Ornamented Shaded. Designed by Julius Herriet and Patented Feb. 12, 1867.

16th Century Antique - American Type Founders.

Celtic Ornate - Great Western Type Foundry.

Charcoal - Keystone Type Foundry. c. 1899.

Cicero - Bruce’s Ornamented #1032.

Circus - Bruce’s Ornamented #881. c. 1865. This was also shown by French founderies much earlier.

Corinthian - Illinois Type Foundry. Originally named Ornamented #441. c. 1869. Also shown by Conner as well as Reed & Fox (England).

Crayonette - Keystone Type Foundry. Designed by H. Brehmer and patented Oct. 7, 1890.

Diamond Inlaid - Bruce’s Ornamented #1071. Designed by Herman Ihlenburg.

Dimension - “A French styling of the late 19th century”

Dresden - BB&S. Originally from Schriftguss A.G., Dresden, Germany and offered by BB&S in 1925.

Ecclesiastic - Bruce’s Ornamented #540.

Egyptian Shaded Extended - Illinois Type Foundry.

Fargo - Dickenson Type Foundry, Boston. c. 1850.

French Clarendon Shaded - MacKS&J. Designed by Richard Smith and patented March 21, 1878.

Grimaldi - Central Type Foundry, St. Louis (not Boston). c. 1886.

Gold Rush - Bruce’s Ornamented #1514. c. 1865.

Ionic Shaded - MacKS&J. c. 1860.

Japanet - Great Western Type Foundry. Originally named Wedge Gothic and cut speficically to be used as sub-heads for the Chicago Herald in 1893.

Jim Crow - Dickenson Type Foundry. c. 1850.

Lariat - Was not originally a metal type face. It was drawn for Charles Broad in 1963 by Helmuth Thom.

Latin Ornate - James Conner’s Sons. The catalog indicates that it was originally called Italian Ornate, but my 1888 catalog shows it as Latin Ornate. It was designed by A. Little.

Lexington - American Type Founders.

Mandarin - Cleveland Type Foundry. Original name was Chinese.

Marbleheart - Charles T. White & Company, New York. This face was also offered by MacKS&J as well as the Boston Type Foundry in the 1870s.

Pacific - American Type Founders. c. 1892.

Pekin - Great Western Type Foundry. Originally named Dormer.

Phidian - MacKS&J.

Phidian Revised - Designed by Dan X. Solo for Typefounders Phoenix.

Relievo - MacKS&J. Actual name is Relievo No. 2 (and yes - there is a different “relief” design for Relievo No. 1). Designed by Herman Ihlenburg in 1878 but strangely enough patented by R. Smith and W.W. Jackson on Apr. 15, 1879.

Round Shaded - Bruce’s Ornamented #1007. c. 1838.
Revived in phototype as Old Bowery in the 1960s.

Rustic - Bruce’s Ornamented #864. Designed by Julius Herriet in 1845 for the Figgins Foundry in England. Not that each size has a differnent dropshadow - or lack thereof).

Circular Script - MacKS&J. Patented Oct. 2, 1883.

Southern Cross - Bruce’s Ornamen ted #1041. Also offered as Ornamented No. 9 by Miller & Richard in England in 1857.

Staccato - William H. Page’s Wood Type Album. This face was called Tuscan Extended by Page. It was also cut in Wood by Tubbs. It also appears as a metal face by the Bruce TF.

Tangier - James Conner’s Sons. Originally named Ornamented No. 43. c. 1857.

Thunderbird - Charles T. White, New York. Originally named Tuscan Broadguage. Also offered by Marr (scotland) in 1853 and Farmer Little in 1885.

Thunderbird Extra Cond. - Charles T. White, New York. c. 1860.

Trocadero - Illinois Type Foundry.Originally named Ornamented #25. Also shown as Ornamented #23 by Conner, Great Primer Ornamented #8 by Farmer Little and offered by Stephanson Blake - all in 1865.

Tuscan Graille - Bruce’s Ornamented #1046. c. 1860. Shownb as O)rnamented No. 25 by Caslon in 1865. Also shown by Cincinnati Type Foundry. as Ornamented No. 22J.
Named Stellar when offered by the Los Angles Type Founders.

Tuscan Ombree - Bruce’s Ornamented #847. Also cast by James Conner’s Sons, Farmer Little, and the Cincinnati Type Foundry in the US as well as Stephanson Blake in England and the Founderie Typographic Francaise in France.

Tuscan Ornate - Originally an English design c. 1850. Also cast as Romantiques No. 5 by the Founderie Typographic Francaise c. 1870.

Tuscan Outline - Bruce’s Orrnamented #851. Also know as Carnet De Bal. Originated at the Laurent & Deberny Foundry c. 1830 as Ornamented No. 1071.

Vaudeville - no information whatsoever on this one.

Wayzata - MacKS&J. Also shown as Ornamented #1541 ib Bruce’s 1901 catalog.

I hope this will be of help to others with TP revival fonts in their collections. Typefounders Phoenix was incorporated into Los Angeles Type Founders, then Barco/FS, and now all the mats reside at the Skyline Type Foundry.

If anyone has additional information to add, please do so.


Log in to reply   8 replies so far

All I can say is, I hope someone is making printed — on paper — copies of everything on Briar Press, especially the things in “Press and Typeface Identification.” I imagine it would be hard to find some of this information anywhere else. Thanks, Rick, for taking the time to prepare this list. And thanks to everyone else whose arcane information I have enjoyed reading here.


Good news from The Type Heritage Project!

All five Romantiques faces are now, or soon will be, digitally archived for posterity:

Nos. 2 and 5 are available for free download:

2) http://www.fontspace.com/dan-roseman/circus
5) http://www.fontspace.com/dieter-steffmann/romantiques

Nos. 1 and 3 have been “fonted” by a THP Partner, who is working on No. 4 (specimens are rare!), truly one of the most spectacular typefaces of all time—can you imagine cutting it in hard steel nearly a century ago?

This page of the THP Chapel (forums website) summarizes status of a few (“the tip of the iceberg”) letterpress type revival projects proposed, in progress or complete:


Digital revivals of these fonts will illustrate a textbook series entitled “The Type Heritage Project.” Volume I, “Quintessential Victorian Display Faces,” is in preparation.

N.B. The attached image of the Romantiques Collection is excerpted from McGrew’s “American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century.” As the title implies, McGrew’s expertise focused on American typefaces of the 20th century. Information presented on imported faces of the 19th century is not necessarily accurate.

Letterpress buffs are cordially invited to visit www.typeheritage.com and/or www.forums.typeheritage.com for interesting font-by-font histories compiled from the 19th-century literature, ephemera and US design patent applications submitted by citizens and non-citizens.

Author, The Type Heritage Project

I am extremely offended to look at these digitized classic ornamental fonts and see that they were CREATED by Dan Roseman, Dieter Steffmann, et. al.

HORSEPUCKY!!!!!! They have certainly been digitized/cleaned-up/copied/interpreted/re-drawn/etc. but CREATED by these guys??????? What balls and audacity?

Rick von Holdt
The Foolproof Press

First of all, I want to agree completely with Rick von Holdt about who should get the credit for digitized ornamental fonts. The person who digitizes an old font works with a font that someone else has created.

Second, I would like to point out that there is a book available now that shows close to 800 ornamental Victorian fonts, with complete dates, designers’ names, foundry, and patent information. The book is William E. Loy’s “Nineteenth-Century American Designers and Engravers of Type.” Edited by Alastair Johnston and Stephen O.Saxe (that’s me!) and published in 2009 by Oak Knoll Press. I think their supply of them is nearly gone, so if you want a copy, it would be a good idea to get it now.

I scanned the faces from my specimen books. The book does not show every ornamental face - only the ones that Loy wrote about and that I could track down, but it’s got a LOT of them and is as close to what Mac MacGrew did as was possible.
-Steve Saxe

image: 096679.jpg


The book written by William E. Loy and considerably added to and improved by Steve Saxe and Alastair Johnson is a book that should be on the shelf of anyone interested in nineteenth century type forms and type history. It is fantastic! I refer to it frequently and highly recommend it.
—Bob M.

A colleague pointed out that the context of my post about the Romantique faces implies that the ones available for free download are connected with The Type Heritage Project [THP].

This is misleading, so I take this opportunity to heartily agree with Rick von Holdt. In fact, the point he raises is THP’s very Mission:


Steffmann and Roseman are not THP Partners. On the contrary, these fonts were available on the www long before my project was organized. Even so, they do not claim personal credit for the designs.

The download links lead to a convenient website (not affiliated with THP!) that happens to stock both fonts. This website and the many others like it are not equipped to distinguish between original fonts and revivals.

The links were offered to collectors, along with preliminary information documenting their authenticity. Learn more about the Romantique fonts here:


BTW digital revival of Parisian, the final Romantique face to be archived for posterity, is now complete—it is truly glorious!

Intellectual Property Issues

Software programs for “creating” digital fonts automatically attribute copyright to the user. Typeface *designs* cannot be copyrighted—they are regarded as “versions of the alphabet,” inherently in the public domain.

Stranger than fiction: What IS copyrighted as “creative” is the printed *appearance* of the code for producing them.

Since 1842, typeface designs may be patented. Until 1861, the term was fixed at seven years. Thereafter, applicants could choose terms of 3.5, 7 or 14 years (depending on the fee paid).

Once the patent expires, it is *legal* to copy the letterforms. Of course, it is *unethical* to claim artistic credit for them. No THP Partner would imagine doing such a thing!

These volunteers are committed to digitally archiving 19th-century types for study and use in the future, when letterpress resources may be available only to members of historical societies or centralized in museums.

Learn more about typeface legalities here:

Patents http://typeheritage.com/history/uspto-01/
Tradenames http://typeheritage.com/history/uspto-02/


Lately I’ve been compiling info in a (never-ending?) chart entitled “Nicolette Gray ♦ Diamond Jubilee” with internet-gathered specimens not available to her 75+ years ago:


Gray’s narratives clearly and repeatedly state that she examined only specimens issued by TFs in *England* (she rarely? never? mentioned Scotland!) and curated by the St. Bride’s and ATF Libraries plus several private collections.

It turns out that many of the early faces she “believed on faith” were introduced by TFs in Great Britain were probably French imports or, by the late-1860s, patented in the USA.

By the same token, many antebellum (pre-1865 or so) US designs attributed by McGrew to Bruce and others were almost certainly imported from GB or France.

This history of ATF Jim Crow (not discussed by Gray) may also be of interest:


In the meantime, the list of digital revivals facilitated by The Type Heritage Project has grown to well over 100:



The “who begat who” of antique typeface designs is fascinating and extremely aggravating. For many years I have been in possession of an 18pt. font of Koster, cast by McKS&J and the published information that had found about it where that it had been designed by William W. Jackson and was patented on April 21, 1888. They not only had a design patent but a mechanical patent as well because of the unusual way this face aligns.

I was very content with this “knowledge” until I obtained a copy of “Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles, 1628-1900” published by Taschen. To my absolute wonder and dismay on page 170 I find a display of ‘my’ Koster displayed in an 1876 catalog from Amsterdamsche Lettergieterij. It even includes the fancy initials.

That pretty much puts the kibosh on any creditibility to William W. Jackson. What balls and audacity!

Rick von Holdt
The Foolproof Press