Henry Lewis Bullen

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Contents:

1. Overview and Issues

Henry Lewis Bullen was a major figure in late 19th and early 20th century printing and typefounding, and one of the most important (and most prolific) writers of the period. He really deserves a book-length biography such as Mallinson's. For now I'll just collect a few scattered items here.

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My Issues with Bullen

[NOT FINISHED/ONLINE YET] Bullen is without question the most important writer on the history of type in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Indeed, for many important points he is our only original source. Yet in my own research I have come to the point where I find it impossible to rely upon anything that he said which does not have external corroboration. Given his prestige, mine is a position which requires some defense.

2. Literature About Bullen

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Appointment to ATF Buffalo (1898)

"Henry Lewis Bullen." The Inland Printer. Vol. 22, No. 2 (November, 1898): 204-205. A biographical sketch of Henry Lewis Bullen himself, on the occasion of his appointment to manage the Buffalo branch of the American Type Founders Company.

Digitized by Google from the Harvard University copy; these are images 133 and 134 of the digitization of this copy, which was mutilated by its binders.

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Obituary, Inland Printer (1938)

Horgan, Stephen H. "The Old Maestro Leaves." [obituary for Henry Lewis Bullen, 1857-1938] The Inland Printer. Vol. 101, No. 5 (May, 1938): 33-37 (Scanned from my copy. This is a link to a 44 Megabyte PDF.)

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(The image above, when clicked on, links to a 2048 pixel wide reduced resolution JPEG version (about 3 Megabytes in size) which should be suitable for most viewing. Here is the original 1200 dpi scan (97 Megabytes), because it is untenable that for someone of Bullen's importance there has not previously been any image of him online, let along a high-resolution scan: inland-printer-v101n2-1938-05-1200rgb-bullen-obituary-0033-portrait.png

[click image to read at The Internet Archive]

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Eckman on the Collectanea Typographica

Eckman, James. The Collectanea Typographica of Henry Lewis Bullen, 1857-1938, in The Inland Printer, 1918-1924, 1926, and 1928-1932 . [Typophiles' Monograph No. 66] (Rochester, MN: The Doomsday Press, 1961.) This is Eckman's bibliography, with some introductory material, on Bullen's writings for The Inland Printer under the general title "Collectanea Typographica." It does not include earlier work published as "Discursions of a Retired Printer," or other work by Bullen either under his own name or as "Quadrat." (For example, while it lists the two items in Bullen's "Collectanea Typographica" from the October 1922 number, it does not list Bullen's article on Linn Boyd Benton in the same issue.) Even with these limitations, this bibliography still occupies 36 pages.

Eckman cites an incident in 1948 where "the president of American Type Founders Company, in an address detailing the history and achievements of the company, referred to him as 'Robert L. Bullen." This refers to the speech by Thomas Roy Jones to the Newcomen Society of England, American Branch, delivered and then published in 1948 as Printing in America - and American Type Founders (q.v.) . Whatever Bullen's faults, they were as nothing compared to the postwar corporatism introduced by Jones which ultimately destroyed ATF.

The icon above left links to a presentation of this work at The Internet Archive, where it may be read online. Here is a local copy of the PDF (156 Megabytes): eckman-bullen-collectanea-typographica-1961-0600rgbjpg.pdf

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Mallinson's Dissertation (1976)

Mallinson, David Walker. Henry Lewis Bullen and the Typographic Library and Museum of the American Type Founders Company . (Dissertation, 1976) 320pp.

Mallinson's dissertation is the basic reference on Bullen. It may be obtained from University Microfilms, and is necessary reading for anyone interested in Bullen.

3. Literature By Bullen

As important as Bullen was, a modern reader must always bear in mind that he is an unreliable, if enthusiastic, source.

Bullen was a prolific writer over a long span of years. In collecting his works you have two choices for arranging them: wide (mostly on one page) or deep (in a hierarchy of pages). Once you commit to one organization you're stuck with it, because Bullen is a frequently cited writer and many things will refer back to individual pieces (which should stay put). I've opted for wide here, which will make this a long (but easily searchable) Notebook.

First I'll collect the several series which Bullen wrote, and then miscellaneous articles. The series are:

Bullen wrote both under his own name and as "Quadrat."

His articles, while frequently incorrect and misleading, are often the best available sources of illustrations from the history of type (especially portraits). In the reprints here, I will frequently (but inconsistently) break these out as image files. It makes this page harder to read, but it's good material.

3.1. "Discursions of a Retired Printer"

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No. 4 (October, 1906)

"Quadrat" [Henry Lewis Bullen]. "Discursions of a Retired Printer." The Inland Printer. Vol. 38, No. 1 (October, 1906): 33-38. Subjects: "First Type Cast in America. - The Earlier Typefounders - Origins of Existing Typefoundries. - First Type and Printing-Presses Made in the West. - American Origins of Metal Shaving Machines, Stereotype Blocks and Type-Casting Machine - the Wealthiest Typefounder."

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No. 7 (January, 1907)

"Quadrat" [Henry Lewis Bullen]. "Discursions of a Retired Printer, No. 7." The Inland Printer. Vol. 38, No. 4 (January, 1907): 513-521. Subjects: "The Three Great Reforms in Typemaking. - The Originators of the American Point, Unit-Set, and Lining Systems for Type. - A Typefounder's Invention which Overcame a Serious Obstacle to the Success of the Linotype. - Sidelights on the Invention of the Linotype. - A Printer Who Invented the Pianola."

Scanned by Google from the University of Minnesota copy and available via the Hathi Trust (Hathi ID: umn.31951001898763b).

I wish I trusted Bullen more, because this is in many respects a very interesting treatise on oft-ignored issues such as lining systems.

This article also contains a number of other interesting points: (1) It contains one of the two references in the literature (both by Bullen) to the notion that Linn Boyd Benton in 1882 contemplated a type justifying or setting machine. (2) It acknowledges that William Schraubstadter was involved with pantographic matrix engraving (though he dates this to 1881 (rather than 1882), says that Schraubstadter "made" his machine (when Werner's account indicates that the Central Type Foundry pantograph was acquired from the Cincinnati Type Foundry, who in turn imported it from Germany), and it denies to that it was sufficiently precise (though it was used to cut several faces commercially and together with a machine patterned after it was used by Schroeder and Werner to cut such faces as DeVinne). (3) It tells a story of a relationship between the Linotype and Benton organizations which, without the embellishments of his 1922 fabrication, might even be true.

It also contains good portraits of John Marder, Linn Boyd Benton, William Schraubstadter, and Henry Barth. Portraits of Schraubstadter, in particular, are hard to find. I've extracted these from the two Google scans of this volume. The portraits of Marder and Benton are from the scan of the Univ. of Minnesota copy (the same one from which the PDF of the entire article, above, is taken). The illustrations in this scan share the same degree of wretchedness as those in the other. The portraits of Schraubstadter and Barth are from the Google scan of the Univerisity of Michigan copy (available via the Hathi Trust; Hathi ID: mdp.39015086781294). These two images are marginally better than the UMN versions (but the Michigan scan of the text crops content). The "screening"/moire issues are present in the original digitizations. None of these four perfectionists would have found these digital versions of their portraits even remotely acceptable.

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No. 10 (May, 1907)

Quadrat [Henry Lewis Bullen]. "Discursions of a retired Printer," No. 10. The Inland Printer, Vol. 39, No. 2 (May, 1907): 193-198. Subjects: "Illustrations of the Progress of American Type-Designs from 1870 to 1890 - Roman Book Type Invented in America - James A. St. John, A Successful Typefounder."

This volume has been scanned by Google from the University of Michigan copy and is available via The Hathi Trust (Hathi ID: mdp.39015086781286). The PDF here is an extract of it from that digitization.

This article contained a portrait of James A. St. John, co-proprietor of the Central Type Foundry and one of the more important (but now little known) figures in 19th century typefounding. Here it is as an image file (the moire effects are present in the original Google scan).

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No. 11 (June, 1907)

Quadrat [Henry Lewis Bullen]. "Discursions of a retired Printer," No. 11. The Inland Printer, Vol. 39, No. 3 (June, 1907): 353-359. Subjects: "Revolution in Typographical Display from the Ornamental to the Masculine - Influence and Services of Joseph Warren Phinney - His Biography, Now for the First Time Printed - Imitation versus Originality in Type-Design."

This volume has been scanned by Google from the University of Michigan copy and is available via The Hathi Trust (Hathi ID: mdp.39015086781286). The PDF here is an extract of it from that digitization.

This installment is notable for its discussion of the origins of the Bradley type and its derivatives.

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No. 12 (July, 1907)

Quadrat [Henry Lewis Bullen]. "Discursions of a retired Printer," No. 12. The Inland Printer, Vol. 39, No. 4 (July, 1907): 512 (frontis), 513-519. Subjects: "The American Type Founders Company - The Causes Leading to Its Formation - Its Initial Difficulties and Final Success - Robert W. Nelson - Founders of the American Press Association - Present Harmonious Relations Among Competing Letter-Founders - Progressiveness of American Typefounders."

This volume has been scanned by Google from the University of Michigan copy and is available via The Hathi Trust (Hathi ID: mdp.39015086781286). The PDF here is an extract of it from that digitization.

This article contains a fine portrait of Robert W. Nelson, president of ATF. Here it is as an image file:

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No. 13 (August, 1907)

Quadrat [Henry Lewis Bullen]. "Discursions of a retired Printer," No. 13. The Inland Printer, Vol. 39, No. 5 (August, 1907): 674 (frontis), 675-683. Subjects: "An Ideal American Citizen - The Inventor of Wood Types and the Routing Machine, and His Successors and Competitors."

This article contains portraits of four people important in the history of wood type: Darius Wells, Heber Wells, William H. Page, and J. E. Hamilton. (The images below are all represented at approximately the same size, but the one of Hamilton is a full-page frontispiece to the article.)

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No. 14 (September, 1907)

Quadrat [Henry Lewis Bullen]. "Discursions of a retired Printer," No. 14. The Inland Printer, Vol. 39, No. 6 (September, 1907): 833-839. Subjects: "Gleanings from an Old Scrapbook - Appreciation of Ideas Which Failed - Mementoes of Sixty Years of Typographical Progress."

This contains illustrations of the Bruce and the Conner type foundries. It also shows two logotype typecase lays ( Bailey, Tobitt).

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3.2. Collectanea Typographica (1918-1931)

For an index into this series, see James Eckman's The Collectanea Typographica of Henry Lewis Bullen, reprinted above .

[NONE REPRINTED HERE YET]

3.3. [Six articles on the evolution of machine composition]

Please note that almost everything that Bullen says about Ottmar Mergenthaler and about Benton's engraving machines is wrong.

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Hand-Set to Machine-Set Composition (1924)

Bullen, Henry Lewis. "The Transition from Hand-Set to Machine-Set Composition." The Inland Printer, Vol. 72, No. 4 (January, 1924).

First in a series of six articles.

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On the Linotype, Part 1 (1924)

Bullen, Henry Lewis. "Origin and Development of the Linotype Machine, Part 1." The Inland Printer. Vol. 72, No. 5 (February, 1924): 769-771.

This portion covers the early development through the "second band machine" of 1884. It illustrates the "Rotary Impression Machine" of about 1879 (along with a reproduction from a matrix made on it), and the Second Band Machine. For reasons unknown, it is basically a piece of character assassination directed against Ottmar Mergenthaler.

This digitization was done by me at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) Memorial Library Department of Special Collections, using their overhead document scanner. It suffers from the limitations of such a scanner, but is still readable. My thanks and apologies to the dedicated reference librarian there who stayed late waiting for my 300dpi scans to download via a USB interface that I believe was developed by Samuel Morse himself.

Second in a series of six articles.

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On the Linotype, Part 2 (1924)

Bullen, Henry Lewis. "Origin and Development of the Linotype Machine, Part 2." The Inland Printer. Vol. 72, No. 6 (March, 1924): 936-938.

Curiously, Bullen's account here of the origins of Benton's pantograph and its capacity to cut punches in steel contradicts his own account from 1922. Both accounts are incorrect, but the present one is less wrong than the earlier one.

Scanned by DMM from an original. The icon at left links to a 29 Megabyte PDF made out of 600dpi RGB scans converted to JPEGs.

Third in a series of six articles.

Here are the two photographs from the article. It's good to have public domain digital versions of each (as these are). The first is of a "Blower" Linotype (as it became known later). The second is of a Benton pantograph of a style covered in his earlier (1885) patent, adapted for the cutting of patrices and/or punches.

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Both of the images above link to reduced size JPEG conversions of the original scans. Here are the full-resolution PNG versions (30 and 17 Megabytes, respectively): inland-printer-vol-072-no-06-1924-03-bullen-linotype-pt2-1200rgb-0936-blower-linotype-photograph-crop-4136x4016.png and inland-printer-vol-072-no-06-1924-03-bullen-linotype-pt2-1200rgb-0937-benton-pantograph-photograph-crop-full-2256x5192.png

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On the Rogers Typograph and the Monoline (1924)

Bullen, Henry Lewis. "The Typograph and the Monoline Machines." The Inland Printer. Vol. 73, No. 1 (April, 1924): 65-67.

The Rogers Typograph which is the first subject of this article is unrelated to the later (and very successful) Ludlow Typograph Machine. Although the Rogers Typograph was almost unknown in the US in the 20th century, its manufacture continued in Germany until the 1960s. Bullen places the portrait of Frank Hinman Pierpont in this article (as Pierpont was involved in the early work setting up the manufacture of the Rogers Typograph in Germany), but he could equally well have put it in the next article (as Pierpont's major contribution to the history of type was as the works manager for The Monotype Corporation in England). As Bullen notes, as a young clerk in a patent attorney's office Pierpont was also associated with the (slightly infamous) Paige Compositor patent; he signed it as a witness.

The machine that Bullen calls says was "called the Junior Mergenthaler" was in fact called the "Linotype Jr.", as he might have ascertained by reading the advertisements for it in The Inland Printer when it was released.

Scanned by DMM from an original. The icon at left links to a 32 Megabyte PDF made out of 600dpi RGB scans converted to JPEGs.

Fourth in a series of six articles.

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The images above link to reduced size JPEG conversions of the original scans. Here are the full resolution (1200dpi) PNG versions (22, 22, and 39 Megabytes each): inland-printer-v073-n1-1924-04-bullen-rogers-typograph-and-monoline-1200rgb-0065-john-raphael-rogers-photograph.png, inland-printer-v073-n1-1924-04-bullen-rogers-typograph-and-monoline-1200rgb-0065-frank-hinman-pierpont.png, and inland-printer-v073-n1-1924-04-bullen-rogers-typograph-and-monoline-1200rgb-0066-rogers-typograph-photograph.png

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The images above link to reduced size JPEG conversions of the original scans. Here are the full resolution (1200dpi) PNG versions (23 and 29 Megabytes each): inland-printer-v073-n1-1924-04-bullen-rogers-typograph-and-monoline-1200rgb-0065-wilbur-stephen-scudder.png and inland-printer-v073-n1-1924-04-bullen-rogers-typograph-and-monoline-1200rgb-0067-monoline-photograph.png

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On the Monotype (1924)

Bullen, Henry Lewis. "Origin and Development of the Lanston Monotype Composing Machine." The Inland Printer. Vol. 73, No. 2 (May, 1924): 228-232.

Scanned by DMM from an original. The icon at left links to a 53 Megabyte PDF made out of 600dpi RGB scans converted to JPEGs.

Fifth in a series of six articles.

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The images above link to reduced size JPEG conversions of the original scans. Here are the full resolution (1200dpi) PNG versions (19, 20, 19 and 22 Megabytes, respectively): inland-printer-v073-n2-1924-05-bullen-monotype-1200rgb-0238-tolbert-lanston-photograph.png, inland-printer-v073-n2-1924-05-bullen-monotype-1200rgb-0238-william-sellars-bancroft-photograph.png, inland-printer-v073-n2-1924-05-bullen-monotype-1200rgb-0238-j-maury-dove-photograph.png, and inland-printer-v073-n2-1924-05-bullen-monotype-1200rgb-0238-harold-malcolm-duncan-photograph.png

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The images above link to reduced size JPEG conversions of the original scans. Here are the full resolution (1200dpi) PNG versions (20 and 25 Megabytes, respectively): inland-printer-v073-n2-1924-05-bullen-monotype-1200rgb-0239-first-lanston-keyboard-photograph.png and inland-printer-v073-n2-1924-05-bullen-monotype-1200rgb-0239-first-bancroft-keyboard-photograph.png

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The images above link to reduced size JPEG conversions of the original scans. Here are the full resolution (1200dpi) PNG versions (25 and 26 Megabytes, respectively): inland-printer-v073-n2-1924-05-bullen-monotype-1200rgb-0240-lanston-compression-machine-photograph.png and inland-printer-v073-n2-1924-05-bullen-monotype-1200rgb-0240-lanston-triangle-casting-machine-photograph.png

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The images above link to reduced size JPEG conversions of the original scans. Here are the full resolution (1200dpi) PNG versions (14 and 23 Megabytes, respectively): inland-printer-v073-n2-1924-05-bullen-monotype-1200rgb-0241-lanston-monotype-1891-photograph.png and inland-printer-v073-n2-1924-05-bullen-monotype-1200rgb-0241-lanston-monotype-1893-photograph.png

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The image above links to a reduced size JPEG conversion of the original scan. Here is the full resolution (1200dpi) PNG version (22 Megabytes): inland-printer-v073-n2-1924-05-bullen-monotype-1200rgb-0241-lanston-bancroft-limited-font-machine-photograph.png

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Composing Machines and Typefounding (1924)

Bullen, Henry Lewis. "The Effect of the Composing Machines Upon the Typefounding Industry." The Inland Printer, Vol. 73, No. 4 (July, 1924).

Sixth in a series of six articles.

3.4. Miscellaneous Articles by Bullen

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On David Bruce, Jr. (1887, Printers' Review)

"David Bruce, Inventor of the Type Casting Machine." The Printers' Review, New Series, Vol. 2, No. 5 (Summer, 1887). [The bibliographic information here is from Eckman; I have not yet seen this piece] This journal was the house organ of Golding & Company, for whom Bullen worked at the time.

James Eckman, in his edition of Bruce's History of Typefounding in the United States (NY: The Typophiles, 1981), indicates that this article was reprinted in The Inland Printer in 1887 (see below) . Bullen, in his "Collectanea Typographica" column in The Inland Printer, Vol. 69, No. 1 (April, 1922): 96 says only that "in the same year [1887, he] contributed an article on the same subject [Bruce] to The Inland Printer."

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On David Bruce, Jr. (1887)

[Bullen, Henry Lewis.] "David Bruce. Inventor of the Type-Casting Machine." The Inland Printer. Vol. 4, No. 12 (September 1887): 801-802. This was published anonymously, but it must have been the article that Bullen refers to in his "Collectanea Typographica" column in The Inland Printer, Vol. 69, No. 1 (April, 1922): 96.

Scanned by DMM from an original copy.

This article contains a fine portrait of David Bruce, Jr.:

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The image above links to a reduced-resolution JPEG version of this images. Here is the full-resolution (1200dpi) PNG scan (8.6 Megabytes): inland-printer-v04n12-1887-09-uw-1200grey-0801-bruce.png

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On David Bruce, Jr. (1922)

Bullen, Henry Lewis. "David Bruce, Jr., Inventor of the First Successful Typecasting Machine." The Inland Printer, Vol. 69, No. 1 (April, 1922): 61-64. Reprinted here together with p. 96 of the same issue, which is a part of Bullen's "Collectanea Typographica" series.

Eckman (p. ix) refers to this 1922 article as an "augmented" version of Bullen's 1887 articles, but it is really an entirely different piece.

Scanned by Google from the University of Michigan copy and available via The Hathi Trust (Hathi ID: mdp.39015086783506).

Bullens 1887 articles on Bruce, and their 1922 expanded version, present a fine conundrum. On the one hand, Bullen notes that in 1887 he interviewed Bruce himself, and that he had access to the Bruce manuscripts which have since been published by James Eckman. So this article should be one of our most valuable sources on Bruce. On the other hand, Bullen is an unreliable source. (See for example the story he fabricated about the origins of Benton's pantographs, which is still being repeated today as if it were true.) In this present article there is at least one important point which is demonstrably in error: he makes an issue of the discharging pin (so called) of the pivotal type caster, yet he completely misunderstands the way in which it functions.

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On Benton (1922)

Bullen, Henry Lewis. "Linn Boyd Benton - The Man and His Work." The Inland Printer, Vol. 70, No. 1 (October, 1922): frontis, pp. 60-64.

This is an important source both for Benton and for ATF matrix making methods. It must be treated with great caution, however, as Bullen is not a reliable source. In this article, his discussion of Ottmar Mergenthaler's involvement with the Linotype is inaccurate, his story of the evolution of Benton's pantograph into a punch-cutting machine cannot be correct, and his story of the reasons for Benton's original development of a pantograph engraver, even if true, is misleading. These errors cast doubt upon the entire article. See the presentation of this article in the Linn Boyd Benton Notebook for links to discussions of these problems.

This volume of The Inland Printer has been digitized by Google from the University of Michigan copy and is available via The Hathi Trust (Hathi ID: mdp.39015086783449). The icon at left links to a local copy of an extract of just the Bullen article on Benton as presented in the CircuitousRoot Notebook on Linn Boyd Benton.


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