Typeface ID help needed

Type ID help, please - I have exhausted my personal resources, and cannot find the names/foundries/dates for these two faces. I am sure someone out there can help me identify them. Each is approximately 24 point.

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The top one is Samoa, designed by Julius Herriet, Jr. for the Boston Type Foundry. The bottom one is Bowl, from Farmer, Little & Co. (New York). Both are circa 1885-1890.

I’m wondering how one would look these up? Looking around internet resources, I am not finding these online. Thanks

Bob Mullen - thank you kindly! Comment to Lmjohansen: many of the old faces are nowhere to be found on the interwebs - my personal resources include several copies of McGrew’s, all the original foundry catalogs (ATF, BB&S, etc.) which I have this far been able to purchase, several reprints of vintage foundry catalogs, and a book of reprints of typography articles from the Inland Printer circa 1880-1900. And, last but not least, the knowledge and kindness of fellow printers on Briar Press…

Too bad the search for this type face information starts and stops at one source, the internet. And now I know what interweb stands for, and my spell check says it is misspelled. I have a whole book shelf at my desk to help me find all sorts of obscure letterpress information, much of which is not on the interweb. See how quickly this old grouch adapts?

Fritz - I’m pretty sure you have more than one shelf- this is my meager collection to date.

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I have been fortunate enough over the years to have collected a small collection of type foundry specimen books (catalogs of type) and the dozen or so reproductions, or partial reproductions, of other catalogs, so I can refer to them. However, there are quite a few of these old catalogs on-line now. With a bit of effort, you can find them on the Hathitrust Library site or the Internet Archive or google the type foundry. For example, Farmer, Little’s Bowl:


Most nineteenth century type of 18 pt. or larger has an identifiable pinmark on the side of the type, with either a foundry name or a symbol. If you can narrow it down to the manufacturer, you may find a catalog to identify your type.
David MacMillan has wonderful resources for type foundries and pinmarks and other subjects of historical interest on his website circuitousroot.com. Of interest pertaining to this discussion are:

Type foundries (with links to some of the catalogs):


Some useful books for identifying the old foundries or the old type that are still in print (I believe) are:

Type Foundries and Their Catalogs
Maurice Annenberg: Stephen O. Saxe
Newcastle, DE, Oak Knoll Press, 1994

Nineteenth Century Designers and Engravers of Type
William E. Loy; Stephen O. Saxe, Alastair Johnton
Newcastle, DE, Oak Knoll Press, 2009

Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces
Dan X. Solo
Dover Publications, 2014

American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century
Mac Mcgrew
New Castle, DE, Oak Knoll Press, 1996


Great information. Thanks so much. I have a couple of curious typefaces to research. Your help is a great start.