UK showcard type

I acquired some 10 line type in lead which appears to be showcard type. Does anybody know the make?

image: DSCF0003.JPG


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While it is indeed a nice font of poster type, it’s not Showcard type. Showcard type has a slot in the base, not the larger cut-away arch like yours.

Unfortunately, while I know what it’s not, i still don’t know what it IS. Sorry.

In my box of ‘interesting bits’ I have a couple of these (a bit smaller - 8 line) but unfortunately also with no pin mark.
I also have a few 10 line waifs but with a very thin spine between the ‘legs’, some marked ‘Richards’, some ‘Besley’ on one side and ‘10 line’ on the other, and one marked ‘Figgins’.
Mine are all punctuation, so no clues on the font.
I’ve always assumed they were produced this way to save a lot of expensive metal (i.e. rather than to fit a ‘showcard’ type press) and was the metal founders competing with the wooden type producers, but it would be interesting to know.

The body of this type looks like nothing I have ever seen on this side of the Atlantic so I suspect they are of European origin. The Chicago foundry Barnhart Bros. & Spindler did something along the same lines by arching out the bottom and the head and tail of the body to reduce the amount of metal. This was only done on large-body pieces like what is shown above.


I have encountered a fair amount of type of around 48 pt to around 72pt with this form of body. To the best of my knowledge it is reasonably mainstream UK-made type from one or more major founders. From the faces I have encountered with this form of body, I have gained the impression that it is a mid twentieth century form of body. I have always assumed that the ‘arch’ simply saves metal (i.e. cost) and weight whilst being carefully designed to still withstand normal printing - but possibly not modern crash printing.

This 10-line font has a very wide arch and so the body is deeper than on smaller type. I’m sure that the foundry would have carefully calculated the necessary depth of body and that it also would have carried out extensive trials, but I can’t help fear that it is in danger of distorting in use.

From a UK perspective, I suspect you have an unusually large size of lead font.

Very interesting - thanks for showing pictures.

Thanks also to etinink for information on identities of some UK founders who cast type this large.