Typo was patented by William W. Jackson [1847–1898] in February–April 1891 and assigned to MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan [USPTO D20702].
The super-prolific Mr. Jackson of Philadelphia began his type career in 1868 as an apprentice to MSJ designer/cutter Edwin C. Ruthven, a Scottish immigrant recruited by Lawrence Johnson in 1846. Loy writes that Ruthven, who trained as many as a dozen apprentices at one time, identified Jackson as the most outstanding by far.¹
In his article about Jackson, Loy accounts that after three years (c1871), he was “graduated” by Ruthven and assigned to MSJ partner Richard Smith: “Mr. Jackson always spoke in terms of the highest appreciation of Mr. Smith, who while not a designer or cutter, was an accomplished critic, and was of the most valuable assistance, encouraging and stimulating him.”
Jackson became an independent type designer/cutter in 1873.²
There are no records of applications for design patents submitted by him before 1873, so it is likely that Smith was the Inventor of Record. Between 1868 and 1873, patents for about a dozen fonts including ornamental ones (not otherwise attributed in the literature) were issued to Smith.
In 1879–1891, he assigned to his former employer 30 patented alphanumeric or ornamental fonts and designed the swash caps for Ruthven’s Spencerian Script (patented by Smith in 1878). His designs for MSJ are only the preface to his extensive body of work. Jackson was a versatile, world-class super-star who produced “block-busters” for at least seven other prestigious TFs in the US and abroad.
More about Jackson as topics arise—stay tuned!
¹·²Loy, W.E. (1898–1900): Designers and Engravers of Type. In The Inland Printer, October 1898 (Jackson) and April 1899 (Ruthven).