Believe it or not, National (National Gothic, Solotype Catalog 75)—surely the “grand-daddy of all red, white and blue” typefaces—has never been archived for posterity. A similar, oft-digitized one known as National Spirit# [Solotype Catalog 75] has fewer stars.
In his correspondence with William E. Loy, German immigrant Julius Herriet Sr. (then in his 80s, with a life-long career in type design/cutting) recalled producing this face during the few years he worked in Philadelphia.¹ As was customary at the time, his boss, the “hyper-active” Lawrence Johnson, patented it in 1856 [USPTO D760].
Johnson’s patent affidavit explains that the design was adapted to chromatic separations for printing with blue and red inks with white paper as the third “color.” What a great idea 150+ years later!
Incidentally… It is said that Mr. Johnson [1801-1860] “worked himself to death.” In the process, he promoted three of his employees to partners and groomed them to succeed him: Thomas MacKellar, John F. Smith and Richard Smith (sons of his first partner, Johnson & Smith). Together with Peter A. Jordan (the CFO of his time), these men built on Johnson’s foundation to become the “largest and most celebrated type foundry in the world.”³
Hard-copy tiff scan, grayscale @600 dpi: caps, numerals, ampersand, question and exclamation marks, $ and ¢, punctuation.
No lower-case alphabet was intended for this font.
Patent and available commercial specimens illustrate only the caps. It is likely that Dan X. Solo, the specimen source, designed matching “figures and points” for the convenience of his photo-lettering clients.
¹Loy, W.E. (1898–1900): Designers and Engravers Of Type. In The Inland Printer, January 1899.
²Annenberg, M.; Saxe, S.O. [Editor]; Lieberman, E.K. [Index] (1994): Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogs, pages 162-164. Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, DE.
³Death of Thomas MacKellar. In The Inland Printer 24:736-737, January 1900.