Florist, Cleft Gothic

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July 20, 2014 at 3:41 AM #13349

Anna

193(d) Union=FloristFlorist has such an interesting “small world” history! It was cut by James West [b 1830, Edinburgh], a US immigrant recruited by James Conner in 1860.¹ At the time this face was introduced, he lived in Brooklyn NY [USPTO D15923] and was associated with the Manhattan TF (New York). Manhattan TF was owned by Union TF (Chicago).²

Maurice Annenberg writes: “James West, the great punchcutter of the period, helped in standardizing these typefaces to comply with the US Point System [adopted by the Association of Typefounders of the United States in 1886]. It is believed that he received part of the stock in payment for his work.”² The Union and Manhattan/Heinrich TFs merged with American Type Founders’ Company in 1892.

William E. Loy writes that during an apprenticeship before emigrating to the US, Mr. West “cut many faces for type founders in London and for Miller & Richard of Edinburgh, besides the Open Anglo-Saxon series for Caslon of London.”¹ Guess what? Nicolette Gray identifies the face as Union (named for West’s US client?) and adds that M&R introduced it in c1884 and registered it in 1885.³

Cleft/Stencil GothicSo far, only one commercial specimen of Florist is available. It appears in the Cincinnati TF 1888 catalog on the same page as Cleft Gothic#, which was designed by his son, John West, also of Brooklyn [USPTO D15965]. The latter face was shown earlier as Stencil Gothic# by MSJ in 1885 and later by Palmer & Rey in 1887. BBS showed it in the 1893–1894 catalog as Cleft Gothic#.

Both designs were US-patented in early 1885, both affidavits claim “invention and production,” and neither was assigned: Florist/Union, January–March [USPTO D15923]; Cleft/Stencil Gothic#, February–March [USPTO D15965]. Both applications were signed and witnessed by Gordon Press Co. Manager A. Sidney Doane (power of attorney for nearly all New York type designers), and the second witness for both was W.V.H. Hicks.

Scenic Combinations, ®J. West Sr. 1885Cleft/Stencil Gothic# is also shown in an advertisement for Manhattan TF in The Inland Printer dated June 1886. The border motifs and Scenic Combinations details of this “eye candy” layout were patented by James West (Sr.) in 1886. Johnston and Saxe identify these ornaments as properties of Union TF.⁴

Preliminary Specimens of Floristflickr imagesWorking Specimens
Patent. Complete caps-only alphabet, numerals and punctuation. Decorative details faint.
Commercial Specimens. Better-quality PDF extractions of preview images.
Excellent-quality scan of Gray’s specimen, “Shakespeare.”
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¹Loy, W.E. (1898–1900): Designers and Engravers of Type. In The Inland Printer, March 1898.
²Annenberg, M.; Saxe, S.O. [Editors]; Lieberman, E.K. [Index](1994): Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogs, page 189. Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, DE.
³Gray, N. (1938): XIXth Century Ornamented Types and Title Pages, pages 193, 207. Faber and Faber Limited, London.
⁴Johnston, A.M.; Saxe, S.O. [Editors] (2009): William E. Loy|Nineteenth-Century American Design­ers and Engravers of Type, page 36. Oak Knoll Books (New Castle, DE).


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October 5, 2014 at 10:16 AM #16677

Anna

Bulletin!  New commercial specimens of Florist have been discovered in the 1883–1884, 1896 and 1900 catalogs of Barnhart Bros. & Spindler.

William E. Loy writes that before moving from Cleveland to Chicago (late 1880s?), where he worked for Marder Luse as well as BBS, James West had cut type for the Conner, Bruce and Farmer TFs in New York.¹

In 1886–1887, he returned to New York to assist the Manhattan/Heinrich TF with re-tooling their wares in point-pica sizes as discussed above.² Since Marder Luse was the leading advocate for adoption of the new system, West’s experience there qualified him as the right man for this job.

The Union TF and subsidiaries merged with ATF in 1892. According to Tribby, ATF did not show Florist nor Cleft/Stencil Gothic# thereafter. Since West did not assign his rights to the design in the patent application, he was at liberty to sell it to any and all producers willing to pay for it.
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¹Loy, W.E. (1898–1900): Designers and Engravers of Type. In The Inland Printer, March 1898.
²Annenberg, M.; Saxe, S.O. [Editors]; Lieberman, E.K. [Index](1994): Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogs, page 189. Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, DE.


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