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August 13, 2013 at 12:52 PM #3566


AlbinoMotto’s wicked step-sister? Another “banner” style, this light-faced latin alphabet of the “runic” variety has knob-like word spacers and line finials. Albino was patented by Boston TF Agent John K. Rogers in 1882 and cut by J.F. Cumming; the designer is unknown.

Specimens Availableflickr images

  • Patent. Complete caps-only alphabet, numerals, punctuation, ornamental elements.
  • Supplementary commercial specimens.

February 4, 2014 at 11:18 AM #7698


Isn’t this just a Hamilton Manufacturing Co. stretched Latin, known as Latin Elongated?

February 8, 2014 at 4:15 AM #7764


According to Rob Roy Kelly [147, 286], a nearly identical face was first shown as US wood type by W.H. Page in October 1879—even before Hamilton existed! The University of Texas project that curates his collection contradicts this info with Page’s Wood Type Album of January 1880.

Kelly’s book traces the prototype to Miller & Richard in 1865 and paraphrases Nicolette Gray as observing that latins were not common in Great Britain until c1876. I can’t find that statement in my edition, which does account that M&R showed a compressed version in c1870 [156].


Certainly the letterforms patented by J.K. Rogers in 1882 were not “new, novel and non-obvious” [patent-worthy], except perhaps as a US metal type style. It seems that the two letterpress media (metal vs wood) vs lithography were regarded by the USPTO as separate until the 1890s.

So most likely, Rogers’ patent was awarded because of the banner-style ornamentation. Rogers had done the same thing in 1879-1880 with a set of three ornamented “ordinary gothics”starring Legend# (1880). Compare with BTF Motto# (1879), a light-faced latin with some of the same banner-style options as Legend#.

Excluding such conspicuous, ubiquitous light-faced condensed latin styles as Monastic# [earliest THP-documented specimen, BTF 1860], BTF Motto# is the earliest metal light-faced latin I have personally identified in available specimens. BTW Kelly [202] identifies Monastic# as a “variation of a French invention of the 1860s which was revived and extended in America during the period between 1880 and 1885.”

THP would surely welcome collaboration with a French-speaking researcher who can “nail” 19th-century records still maintained by provinces!

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