Gustave Schroeder

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(Note: Many contemporary sources, such as Loy's biographical sketch and even articles by Schroeder's ex-partner N. J. Werner have "Gustav" Schroeder. Saxe and Johnston, in their edition of Loy [4], choose "Gustave." This is backed up by design patent documents, which say "Gustave F. Schroder.")

He was born in 1861 near Berlin [4], in what would then have been the Kingdom of Prussia. He trained there in the hand engraving of dies, and came to the US at the age of 20 [thus ca. 1881] after meeting Carl Schraubstädter of the Central Type Foundry. [4] He left Central in 1888 [1] or 1889 [4] and entered into partnership with Nicholas J. Werner as Schroeder & Werner, commercial matrix engravers. In 1891 this partnership was dissolved and Shroeder moved to California. [4] The dissolution of this partnership appears to have been amicable, and a result of Schroeder's desire to move to California and Werner's desire to remain in St. Louis. Werner speaks highly and warmly of Schroeder in his later accounts.

Schroder was trained in hand die engraving, which led naturally to punch and presumably patrix engraving while he was at Central. He also cut working patterns (whether by hand or by machine is not known) for use in machine engraving. Later he became a machine matrix engraver.

At Central, he made the working patterns used to cut the first machine-made matrices in the US. [1] The manner in which he did this is unknown. The matrices themselves were engraved by William A. Schraubstädter on the Central Type Foundry (Matrix-Engraving) Pantograph. The faces cut were Geometric, Geometric Italic, and Morning Glory.

Slightly later Schroeder made the patterns for the Central Type Foundry's Type Writer, the first printing typeface in imitation of typewriter type (as before, Schraubstädter engraved the matrices on the Central Type Foundry Pantograph). [1] He also made the patterns for Scribner. [4]

Upon leaving Central to join Werner in partnership as commercial matrix engravers ( Schroeder & Werner), he purchased the Central Type Foundry (Matrix-Engraving) Pantograph. [3]

At some point soon after this, he "had several improvements incorporated into a new engraving machine [ the Shroeder-Boyer Pantograph], which was built for us [Schroeder & Werner] by the Boyer Machine Company, of St. Louis." [1] [6]

In the same source, Werner also notes that "Mr. Schroeder was also the first to apply electric power to such a machine." (765) Whether Werner is referring to the original Central Type Foundry Pantograph, the Schroeder-Boyer Pantograph, or both is unclear. In the 1880s, electric power for a machine tool would have been a novelty.

After their partnership dissolved, the disposition of the pantographs used by Schroeder and Werner is not clear. Both continued to engrave matrices commercially. Schroeder was trained as a hand engraver, and could in theory have continued to do this by hand (although it is more likely that he employed a machine by this date). Werner was not trained as a hand engraver, and presumably would have needed a machine.

Loy's account ends in 1898, when Schroeder was only 37 and working as an independent matrix engraver, in California, for various typefoundries around the country. Loy does suggest that his business declined due to the dominance of ATF. I do not know if he continued as an independent or not. Werner, writing around 1931, says "In his later years he worked for the Keystone Type Foundry, of Philadelphia..." [2] It isn't entirely clear if this meant that he was directly employed (which you would normally assume) or contracting, and whether he was still in California or had moved to Philadelphia. Keystone was acquired by ATF in 1917, when Schroeder would have been about 56 years old.

Werner says "I have counted about thirty faces of his designing, a record which far outranks [circa 1931] that of the press-agented Goudy" [2] Of these, the best remembered is no doubt DeVinne, which Schroeder both designed (Werner is emphatic on this point) and cut under contract for Central while in partnership with Werner.

Using McGrew's list of mostly 20th century type designers (which crosses over into 19th century figures, of course) [5] 30 faces would put him in 9th place, just after Wiebking. But if you include both types cut and designed, as well as ornament series, I count something more on the order of 50. This would put him in 5th place, just after Sol Hess. Regardless of numbers, is a significant body of work.

The basic biographical sketch of Schroeder is in Loy, William E. "Designers and Engravers of Type," No. 11 - Gustav F. Schroeder. The Inland Printer. Vol. 22, No. 3 (1898-12), p. 338.

1. Typefaces Cut

Aldus Italic, in four sizes (independently, for Pacific States Type Foundry). [4]

Apollo (at Central) [4]

Art Gothic (at Central). [2] Noted as Schroeder's first series, designed by him after a "suggestion" found by James A. St. John (co-founder of Central) "on the label of a soap box." [4] As such, it is a documented example of the influence of lettering on type.

Atlanta, designed and cut (at Central). [2] [4]

Brandon, "larger sizes" (independently, for Inland Type Foundry) [4]

Combination Ornaments Series K (at Central) [4]

Combination Ornaments Series L (at Central) [4]

Combination Ornaments Series M (at Central) [4]

Combination Ornaments Series N (at Central) [4]

Cushing Old Style (at Central) [4]

Custer Bold. [2] McGrew identifies this as a face of the Western Type Foundry (of Charles H. Schokmiller) which was renamed Bookman Bold by BB&S. Western existed from 1906 to 1918, so this must have been cut by Schroeder as an independent.

DeVinne. [1] [2] First eight sizes by Schroeder & Werner for Central. [7] Design attributed solely to Schroeder by Werner in his 1931 "Address" [2] and in his 1932 Inland Printer article on Wiebking. [3]

Empire Initials (independently, for ATF). [4]

Encore (independently for, or in the employ of, Keystone). [2]

Era (renamed Pastel) (BB&S). McGrew attributes it to both Werner and Schroeder, but Werner in 1931 attributed it to Schroeder alone. He also notes that as Pastel it was much used in (silent) film cards. [2] [4] Cut by Schroeder & Werner for BB&S (which may explain McGrew's attribution). [7]

Erebus (at Central) [4]

Façade Condensed, lowercase (Central/Boston). Loy cites this as by Schroeder for Central in his sketch of Schroeder. [4] Loy cites it as by Schroeder & Werner for the Boston Type Foundry in his sketch of Werner. [7] There is not necessarily a discrepancy here, as in 1888 the two principals of the Central Type Foundry, James A. St. John and Carl Schraubstädter, acquired control of the Boston Type Foundry. N.B. Caps previously cut by Julius Herriet, Jr. [7]

French Old Style, lowercase (at Central) [4] Loy says "French Old Style," but Saxe and Johnston, in their edition of Loy, illustrate French Old Style No. 2 (Central). [4]

French Old Style Extended, (independently, for Marder, Luse) [4]

French Old Style No. 2, 18-point (independently, for Pacific States Type Foundry) [4]

Geometric (at Central); cut patterns for. [1] [4] Werner is quite clear that Shroeder cut the patterns for this face and that William A. Schraubstädter engraved its matrices directly using the Central Type Foundry Pantograph. Mullen, though, cites it as "Cut by Gustav Schroeder and William Jackson." (p. 135) [8]

Geometric Antique (at Central). Mullen cites it as "cut by Gustav Schroeder and William Jackson." (p. 135) [8] Not mentioned by Werner or Loy. It is interesting, though, that Werner cites Geometric (Central) and Geometric Italic (Central) as cut by William A. Schraubstädter on the Central Type Foundry Pantograph from designs by Schroeder; he makes no mention of any involvement by Jackson at Central.

Geometric Condensed (at Central). Mullen cites it as "cut by Gustav Schroeder and William Jackson." (p. 135) [8] Not mentioned by Werner or Loy. It is interesting, though, that Werner cites Geometric (Central) and Geometric Italic (Central) as cut by William A. Schraubstädter on the Central Type Foundry Pantograph from designs by Schroeder; he makes no mention of any involvement by Jackson at Central.

Geometric Italic (at Central); cut patterns for. [1] [4] Werner is quite clear that Shroeder cut the patterns for this face and that William A. Schraubstädter engraved its matrices directly using the Central Type Foundry Pantograph. Mullen, though, cites it as "Designed and cut by Gustav Schroeder." (p. 136) [8]

Hades (at Central) [4]

Harper (Central) [4]

Hermes (Central). Loy cites this as by Schroeder in his list of types by Schroder for Central, but in this list and in this sketch he does not really distinguish Shroeder's work while employed by Central from his work in partnership with Werner. [4] In his biographical sketch of Werner, Loy cites it as by Schroeder & Werner (in partnership) for Central. [7]

Hogarth. [2] (at Central, 1883) [8]

Jefferson. [2] [4] By Schroeder & Werner for Central. [7]

John Hancock (independently for, or in the employ of, Keystone). [2]

Johnston Gothic lowercase by Schroeder & Werner for Central. [7]

Jupiter (Central) [4]

Laclede. Loy [4] attributes this to Schroeder for ATF, but there is some uncertainty here. McGrew says that BB&S (later ATF) Munder / Munder Venezian was originally Laclede Oldstyle by Wiebking for (Schokmiller's) Laclede Type Foundry. But these are all designs from the 1920s, while Loy's citation can be no later than 1898.

Lafayette. [2] [4]

Law Italic (Central); cut 6-point size "in steel" [I presume meaning steel punches]. [4]

McCullagh (ATF) [4]

Morning Glory (at Central); cut patterns for. [1] [4] Werner is quite clear that Shroeder cut the patterns for this face and that William A. Schraubstädter engraved its matrices directly using the Central Type Foundry Pantograph. Mullen, though, cites it as "Designed and cut by Gustav Schroeder." (p. 137) [8]

Multiform, by Schroeder & Werner for Central. [7]

Novelty Script (Central). [4] By Schroeder & Werner for Central. [7]

Old Style Bold (at Central) [4]

Old Style Script, first sizes in series (Central) [4]

Othello (at Central) [4]

Pacific Victoria Italic (Pacific States). Lowercase by Schroeder from 6-point to 24-point (Pacific States Type Foundry). [4] [5] A lowercase for a lining face such as (Pacific) Victoria Italic is unusual.

Quaint Roman (Central) [4]

Richelieu (independently for, or in the employ of, Keystone). [2]

Royal Italic, 18-point (Inland) [4]

Royal Script, first sizes in series (Central) [4]

Rubens, "several sizes" (Central) [4]

Scribner (at Central); cut patterns for. [4] Mullen says both that "Schroeder made the patterns" and that this face was "Cut by Gustav Schroeder." [8]

Sierra, in eight sizes (independently, for Pacific States Type Foundry). [4]

Poster Sierra (independently, for Pacific States Type Foundry). Not mentioned in Loy or Werner, but identified by Saxe and Johnston, in their edition of Loy. [4]

Type Writer (at Central); cut patterns for (matrix engraving by William A. Schraubstädter) [1] [2] [8]

University (Central) [4]

Victoria. Werner identifies as by Schroeder. [2] Loy identifies as work done by Schroeder at Central specifically "after designs by Carl Schraubstädter." [4] Mullen associates it with Atlanta (Central) [8] Its design differs in a number of details from the later Victoria Italic (Central) / Victoria Italic (Pacific States).

Victoria Italic (Central). [2] Eight sizes of by Schroeder & Werner for Central. N.B. Werner completed the series independently. [7]

Victoria Italic, lowercase (Pacific States). See Pacific Victoria Italic (Pacific States).

Washington. [2] [4]

Whitter (independently for, or in the employ of, Keystone). [2]

["various borders and ornaments"] (Pacific States Type Foundry) [4]

2. Notes

1. Werner, N. J. "St. Louis' Place on the Type-Founders' Map." The Inland Printer. Vol. 79, No. 5 (August 1927): 764-766.

2. Werner, N. J. An Address by N. J. Werner of St. Louis. St. Louis: [St. Louis Club of Printing House Craftsmen, 1931. , reprinted as "St. Louis in Type-Founding History" Share Your Knowledge Review, Vol. 22, No. 3 (January 1941): 21-26.

3. Werner, N. J. "Wiebking Created Popular Faces in Chicago, Friend Discloses" The Inland Printer Vol. 90, No. 2 (November 1932): 71-73.

4. Loy, William E. "Designers and Engravers of Type," No. 11 - Gustav F. Schroeder. The Inland Printer. Vol. 22, No. 3 (1898-12), p. 338.

5. McGrew, Mac. American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century. Second Edition. (New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Books, 1993)

6. Werner continues his account by noting that Joseph Boyer later went to the Burroughs company. Actually, the experimental work on the Burroughs machine was done in Boyer's shop, and Boyer went on to become president of the Burroughs company. This company was started as the American Arithmometer Company in St. Louis, which was renamed the Burroughs Adding Machine Company after its move from St. Louis to Detroit in 1904. This link to Boyer's company is interesting because Schokmiller also worked for the American Arithmometer Company.

7. Loy, William E. "Designers and Engravers of Type," No. 19 - Nicholas J. Werner. The Inland Printer. Vol. 23, No. 5 (1899-08), p. 595.

8. Mullen, Robert A. Recasting a Craft: St. Louis Typefounders Respond to Industrialization. (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois Univ. Press, 2005).


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