Stylus was designed and patented by Herman Ihlenburg in March-April 1883 with rights assigned to MacKeller, Smiths & Jordan of Philadelphia.
During the 19th century, italic typefaces were regarded as a separate classification akin to scripts. They were usually reserved for legal documents recalling medieval times, when agreements were recorded and read aloud by scribes.
This one was among the first popular for display compositions. An instant “hit” in Europe as well as the US, it was also distributed by the famous Mayeur TF of Paris as shown in the 1883-1884 catalog.