Fargo

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Anna 3 years, 8 months ago.

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August 12, 2013 at 3:16 PM #3510

Anna

According to Mac McGrew,¹ Fargo [right] originated at the Dickinson TF in c1850. Nicolette Gray² traces it to Stephenson Blake, 1858 and “German, 1854.” The more ornate version is shown in Hænel 1847. Gray describes it as “Besley, c1860” and “German, 1864.”²

In or before 1867,³ L. Johnson paired the two faces in the same grouping with Fargo in the smallest size. No specimen examined bears a tradename, and none claims rights to the design.

Specimens Available

Excellent hard-copy scans of both faces
Complete alphanumeric charsets, currency symbols, etc.
Supplementary commercial showings

¹McGrew, M. (1993): American Metal Types of the Twentieth Century (Second, Revised Edition), page 342. Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, DE.
²Gray, N. (1938): XIXth Century Ornamented Types and Title Pages, page 202. Faber and Faber Limited, London.
³The date ≤1867 is deduced from the stereotyped(?) specimen published by MSJ in July 1869, which is imprinted L. Johnson & Company while other pages are marked MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan. According to Annenberg [164], “Lawrence Johnson died on April 26, 1860, but the firm continued to operate and distribute type catalogs with his name until 1867.”


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November 5, 2013 at 3:16 PM #5011

Alan Jay Prescott

I’m interested in reviving this pair at some time in the near future and will post here when I start it, if no one else takes up the challenge over the next few weeks.


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November 29, 2013 at 11:42 PM #5558

Alan Jay Prescott

I am reviving Fargo currently. I started it several different ways before deciding that the best approach is to render the typeface very close to the scan I have (Solo).

There are too many inconsistencies in the design to make it “formally” perfect, so the best compromise is to draw closely to the original rendering and make numerous small modifications to keep certain features (cap height, baseline alignment, thickness of “thins,” doo-hickeys, and most shadows uniform. Results forthcoming, perhaps early next week.


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December 3, 2013 at 11:41 AM #5835

Alan Jay Prescott

Anna, Fargo nearly ready. Can you please send me high-res of the other one, so that I can work on that next? Thank you!


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December 10, 2013 at 6:03 PM #6167

Alan Jay Prescott

Below is a sample of Fargo, revived as Farmerboy Roman. The face has been radically regularized for modern use but has lost none of the flavor of the original, I hope!

Farmerboy Roman

 


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December 11, 2013 at 3:55 AM #6231

Anna

Thanks for this treasure, Alan. Fargo is ready to party!


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December 13, 2013 at 12:27 PM #6402

Alan Jay Prescott

“Other Fargo” underway, going well. Again, it has to be regularized and is turning out nicely. A very different scheme from Fargo, but definitely related and perhaps same designer. It will be called Farmergirl and will be a worthy sister to Farmerboy.


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December 16, 2013 at 5:10 PM #6471

Alan Jay Prescott

Fargo Fancy has been revived as Farmergirl Roman:
Farmergirl Roman


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December 18, 2013 at 5:21 AM #6560

Anna

Looks like these two country kids are ready for big-time city action!

I think you’re right that these two faces are “the same thing only different.” My personal theory is that the one we call “Fargo Fancy” came first—probably French, since it’s shown in Hænel 1847—13 yrs before Gray’s earliest documented GB specimen.

McGrew’s account that Fargo# originated at the Dickinson TF in c1850 suggests that a DTF staff or commissioned punch-cutter “simplified” it for use in smaller body-type sizes. If so, the man who performed this task was not Alexander Phemister (the earliest DTF punch-cutter documented by Loy), who was engaged by DTF in c1863.¹
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¹Loy, W.E. (1898–1900): Designers and Engravers of Type. In The Inland Printer, June 1898.


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