The Lindsay Family

 

Histories of the Lindsay brothers, their sons and their roles in the Lindsay and Bruce TFs are most confusing. The 19th-century literature below provides some valuable answers and raises new questions. While the obituaries of James (d 1879) and George (d 1903) are very specific, they are contradictory:

Which Robert Lindsay is Which?

This biography agrees with Loy’s report that James Lindsay had four brothers.1Loy, W.E.: Typefounders and Typefounding In America. In The Inland Printer 26:981, March 1901.

Robert Lindsay. Historians agree that the first Robert Lindsay was an original partner of the Lindsay TF, which was established in 1852. Annenberg suggests that he may have immigrated on the same ship with James and John;2Annenberg, M.; Saxe, S.O. [Editor]; Lieberman, E.K. [Index] (1994): Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogs, pages 175–176. Oak Knoll Press, New Castle DE. if so, the year was 1851. Twentieth-century historians add additional information:

  • In 1859–1864, he partnered with wood type producer John G. Cooley,3Kelly, R.R. (1977): American Wood Type, 1828–1900|Notes on the Evolution of Decorated and Large Types, page 42. Litton Educational Publishing, Inc./Van Nostrand Reinhold Company (New York 1969). Reprinted by DaCapo Press, Inc. (New York 1977). who originated Dauchy & Co. Advertisement Agency with the scheme of bartering printing equipment and type for newspaper advertising space.
  • Thereafter, he was consistently associated with the Lindsay TF. In a 1903 correction to an earlier obituary of George Lindsay (more below), the International Typographical Union of North America distinguishes him as the one who “had charge of” the TF:

Note and Comment
In The Typographical Journal 22:129, February 1903

  • The above article identifies Robert A. Lindsay as the son of “the late John Lindsay,” an original Lindsay TF partner. He started work at the TF in 1885; by 1895, he was head of the manufacturing department. Following the death of George Lindsay in December 1902 (more below), he succeeded his late uncle as Manager.
  • Sometime before David W. Bruce (son of George Bruce) retired in 1890, a man named Robert Lindsay became an important, long-time executive of the Bruce TF—so highly valued by Mr. Bruce that he transferred the stock and goodwill to him and two colleagues: Vilinder B. Munson and Harry M. Hall.4Munson had routinely witnessed applications for design patents since February 1872 [USPTO D5514]; Hall, since April [USPTO D5814]. There is no record of Robert Lindsay doing so.·5Annenberg , M.; Saxe , S.O. [Editor]; Lieberman, E.K. [Index] (1994): Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogs, page 92. Oak Knoll Press, New Castle DE.

Since it is highly unlikely that the same Robert Lindsay managed to juggle loyalty and productivity between two competing(!) TFs, THP concluded that the son of James Lindsay (not named in the above obituary) was a third Robert Lindsay and that he (not his uncle Robert nor his cousin Robert A.) joined or replaced James at the Bruce TF. While this hypothesis was rejected by Saxe’s report of the Lindsay TF, it was verified by the one on the Bruce TF:

Saxe, S.O.: The Type Founders of New York City,
1840–1900.
In Printing History 2:8, 1980.

Other Brother Blues…

George Lindsay [1829–1902]. James Lindsay’s obituary (top) does not name this Mr. Lindsay as a brother. Even so, his own obituary reports that he was an original executive and manager since 1881—did The New York Times reporter make a mistake when writing his brother’s obituary in 1879?:

The nephew cited was Robert A. Lindsay, son of John.

William Lindsay. It does mention this one, who was discovered by Saxe: a New York business directory dated 1874 lists him as a typefounder at 65 Centre (Bronx?). The address does not correspond to known locations of Lindsay TF, A.W. Lindsay TF nor of Dauchy & Co. Unaware of George Lindsay, he speculates that William may have been a sixth Lindsay brother. “Nothing is known about William Lindsay, and his name cannot be found in the city directory.”6Saxe, S.O. (1980): The Type Founders of New York City, 1840–1900. In Printing History 2:14–15. Since the Lindsay TF was established in 1852, the date 1874 suggests that William was significantly younger than the five Lindsay brothers documented elsewhere. Perhaps he was James’s nephew?

Alexander W. Lindsay. Unfortunately, De Vinne and later historians citing his research erroneously identify this Mr. Lindsay as an original partner of the Lindsay TF.7De Vinne, T.L. (1899-1902): The Practice Of Typography|A Treatise on the Processes of Type-making, the Point System, the Names, Sizes, Styles and Prices of Plain Printing Types (Second Edition), page 105. The Century Co., New York. historians concur that this brother was not an original partner. Saxe reports that he was not listed in business nor in residential directories of New York in 1868–1882;8Saxe, S.O. (1980): The Type Founders of New York City, 1840–1900. In Printing History 2:14–15. even so, De Vinne9Catalogue of the Books in the Library of the Typothetae of the City of New York, page 81. Typothetae at the DeVinne Press, 1896. and Annenberg10Annenberg , M.; Saxe , S.O. [Editor]; Lieberman, E.K. [Index] (1994): Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogs, page 176. Oak Knoll Press, New Castle DE. cite catalogs issued in c1872 and ≤1870, respectively. James Lindsay’s obituary (top) accounts that in 1879, he was employed as typefounder in London.

Note and Comment. In The Typographical Journal|
Official Paper of the International Typographical
Union of North America 22:129, February 1903

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1. Loy, W.E.: Typefounders and Typefounding In America. In The Inland Printer 26:981, March 1901.
2. Annenberg, M.; Saxe, S.O. [Editor]; Lieberman, E.K. [Index] (1994): Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogs, pages 175–176. Oak Knoll Press, New Castle DE.
3. Kelly, R.R. (1977): American Wood Type, 1828–1900|Notes on the Evolution of Decorated and Large Types, page 42. Litton Educational Publishing, Inc./Van Nostrand Reinhold Company (New York 1969). Reprinted by DaCapo Press, Inc. (New York 1977).
4. Munson had routinely witnessed applications for design patents since February 1872 [USPTO D5514]; Hall, since April [USPTO D5814]. There is no record of Robert Lindsay doing so.
5. Annenberg , M.; Saxe , S.O. [Editor]; Lieberman, E.K. [Index] (1994): Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogs, page 92. Oak Knoll Press, New Castle DE.
6. Saxe, S.O. (1980): The Type Founders of New York City, 1840–1900. In Printing History 2:14–15.
7. De Vinne, T.L. (1899-1902): The Practice Of Typography|A Treatise on the Processes of Type-making, the Point System, the Names, Sizes, Styles and Prices of Plain Printing Types (Second Edition), page 105. The Century Co., New York.
8. Saxe, S.O. (1980): The Type Founders of New York City, 1840–1900. In Printing History 2:14–15.
9. Catalogue of the Books in the Library of the Typothetae of the City of New York, page 81. Typothetae at the DeVinne Press, 1896.
10. Annenberg , M.; Saxe , S.O. [Editor]; Lieberman, E.K. [Index] (1994): Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogs, page 176. Oak Knoll Press, New Castle DE.