Thursday, December 13, 2012

19th C Cold Type

Time for another episode of winterized cold type of the snow-capped kind. 'Tis the season afterall. The lovely rustic typographic greeting above, dripping with icicles, is brought to you by the Diamond Ink Company of Pittsburg. Okay, I lie...it is page 186 of the 1870 Harpel's Typograph Book of Specimens, published by Oscar Harpel of Cincinnati OH. Harpel was partially responsible for influencing a great number of printers in the artistic printing movement at the time his book was published. The other direct influence according to George Joyner, author of the 1895 Fine Printing: Its Inception, Development, and Practice, was "the introduction of highly finished coated paper capable of producing amazingly detailed and exquisitely colored work that rose to a level of fine art". In the spirit of giving this holiday season, I give you the clickable links to both of these fine books. Happy reading!
A colorful trade card from the Magee Furnace Company, courtesy of the excellent Sheaff Ephemera Archive gaslight album. No date listed, but estimating 1890s perhaps. Below is a particularly handsome trade card from 1888 promoting Columbia bicycles. It is as found on eBay last month from this seller, but original link is no longer valid.
Sorry, but the metal sign for Kemp's Ice Cream just above, sold on eBay in September for $180. It's not 19th C, but it is old enough to avoid global warming issues. The book cover below is from an 1888 edition of A Snow Baby published by Ernest Nister, in the UK, courtesy The International Children's Digital Library where you can read the entire text for free.



Another book cover from The International Children's Digital Library. The Poet & the Brook, published in London for the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Check out the nice cap P on Poet made from a cattail reed. Not so sure about the dead goose however. Below is a cropped image I took of a beautiful songsheet cover from Kevin Lynch's collection. This Snowed In Galop commemorates an 1872 three week snowbound train passage in Wyoming. Probably not a big hit, but you can't judge a galop by its beautiful cover. Or can you? Based upon the design, it probably sold quite well.
     Many more materials on cold type can be found in last year's post here.

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