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January 6, 2014 at 12:55 PM #6900

Alan Jay Prescott

1895, Barnhart Bros. & Spindler

I am interested in reviving this face. Does anyone know whether this has been done?

May 19, 2014 at 8:11 AM #9868


As far as I know, neither of the following faces has been digitized for posterity. Menu presents another brain-breaking Type Tradename Tangle. A bit of background helps to understand it…

Nicholas J. Werner was hired by Carl Straubstadter Sr. and James A. St. John, owners of Central TF (St. Louis), in 1882. Naturally, he was well acquainted with Schraubstadter’s sons, who also worked there.

In 1889, he partnered with Gustave F. Schroeder. When Schroeder moved to California in 1891, both men continued as freelancers.¹ The next year, ATF bought Central TF and the owners retired.

In January 1894, Carl Schraubstadter Jr. and two of his brothers débuted Inland TF, also in St. Louis. They wisely commissioned Werner to design some of the most popular display typefaces in history. Inland TF was purchased by the American Type Founders’ Company in 1911.

Some Inland assets were allocated to the Barnhart Brothers & Spindler TF (Chicago), which joined ATF the same year. According to the ATF/BBS agreement, BBS continued to operate independently until 1933. The final BBS catalog was issued in 1925.²

BBS Menu, 1895Inland Bruce Title (caps) and Skinner, 1895BBS Menu Roman, McGrew Specimen
McGrew Specimen, BBS Menu Roman

McGrew writes: “Menu Roman is the BB&S rename, for the 1925 specimen book, of Skinner, which was shown by Inland Type Foundry about 1885 and ascribed to John K. Rogers as well as to Nicholas J. Werner. Menu Title, formerly Lining Menu, was Inland’s Bruce Title, by Werner.”²

HUH!? Some of the confusion is easily righted:

In 1884–1885, John K. Rogers, Agent of the Boston TF, was issued a design patent for an “autograph scripttradenamed Skinner Script [USPTO D15777] (Table 2:59). He died in January 1888, seven years before the roman faces discussed here were introduced.

Since Inland TF did not exist until nine years later (see above), Werner did not design Bruce Title nor Skinner in 1885.

Menu, Bruce Ice CreamFast-forward a decade… Caps-only BBS Menu [top] was advertised in The Inland Printer of October 1895. The same year at Inland TF, Werner produced Bruce Title, a caps-only face presumably memorializing David Wolfe Bruce, who died in March. Soon after, he created a lower-case alphabet; the dual-case face was shown as Skinner.4

The screenshot below is a Google Books “snippet view” of BBS Menu as shown on page 246 of the 1925 catalog. Above it are specimens of the two faces. Except for the noticeably different “R,” is the snippet specimen not the same as BBS Menu [top] shown in 1895?

To end Excerpt, BBS 1925 Contentswith compounded confusion… The BBS 1925 catalog apparently showed no typeface with the tradename Menu per the specimen above—only Menu Roman, M. Shaded and M. Title!

Incidentally, BBS Engravers Gothic mentioned above (history unknown) does not match Bitstream’s digital font by the same tradename. The MyFonts description reads that the letterforms are identical to Goudy’s Copperplate Gothic (1905) with the semi-serifs “trimmed.”

¹Loy, W.E. (1898–1900): Designers and Engravers of Type. In The Inland Printer, December 1898 (Schroeder); August 1899 (Werner).
²Annenberg, M.; Saxe, S.O. [Editor]; Lieberman, E.K. [Index] (1994): Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogs, pages 57 (BBS) and 157 (Inland). Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, DE.
³McGrew, M. (1993): .American Metal Types of the Twentieth Century (Second, Revised Edition), pages 214-215 and 371. Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, DE.
4Mullen, R.A. (2005): Recasting A Craft|St. Louis Typefounders Respond To Industrialization, pages 147–148. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, IL.

Preliminary Specimens


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