type has been sadly neglected as a subject and greatly underrated
in terms of its importance to the history of the American graphics
industry and in the evolution of display type.
can be attributed partially to the short lapse of time between the
period of its decline in use and now.
printers of that day were not overly concerned with historical matters
nor interested in the materials with which they worked, a fact borne
out in an article published in 1891 that states, One of the
essential needs of the modern printing office is a supply of wood
type, large or small, according to the class of work turned out.
There is probably no article used by printers the manufacture of
which is so little understood.
the very nature of a piece printed with wood type did not lend itself
to any degree of permanency. Therefore, book typographers as well
as job printers failed to acknowledge or even observe wood types
place in typographical history.
doubt, typographical forms of nineteenth century America conjure
more associations to that perjod than do other manifestations issued
in those years. With their multitude of inventive and imaginative
forms and designs, they were expressive of their makers and of the
people and spirit of the period.
were used prolifically, announcing ship sailings and auctions, serving
for land notices, wanted posters, theatre handbills. Even today
their power to evoke an image is evident, and there are few circuses,
theatres, or television Westerns that fail to capitalize on Victorian
type for promotion purposes or as a means to conclusively establish