Lightface Lyric


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Patented 1882-03-14 (US design patent 12,805) by Charles E. Heyer (assigned to the principals of Barnhart Brothers & Spindler).

See also Lyric (BB&S).

Loy does not mention Lightface Lyric in his biographical sketch of Hyer {Loy 1900}, but Saxe does show it in his edition of Loy ( {Loy 2009}, p. 130).

James Eckman ( {Eckman 1961}, p. 9) indicates that the Central Type Foundry, St. Louis threatened BB&S with legal action over a presumed infringement of their face Geometric by Lightface Lyric. For this information, Eckman cites The Type Founder (the house organ of BB&S), No. V (Summer 1883): 253. Eckman's quotation from The Type Founder in turn cites an unspecified recent issue of the Printers' Register (the house organ of the Central Type Foundry).

There is an irony in the Central's allegation (if it is true; as yet I have seen only BB&S's reference to it, as transcribed by Eckman). The complaint brought against pantograph-based type-making methods by early 20th century purists such as Daniel B. Updike was that in earlier type-making each size of a given face was cut independently, and was thus "law unto itself" (and this, Updike believed was a very good thing). Geometric was the first metal type in America the matrices of which were made by pantograph, and thus the first metal type which might in principle have been subject to objections such as Updike's (though we do not know if patterns were shared between sizes in its making). By way of contrast, an examination of, say, the 'S' and 's' in the 18 and 24 point sizes of Lightface Lyric indicates quite clearly that these sizes were cut independently, not scaled from a single source.

Here is the showing of Lightface Lyric from an undated, but presumed ca. 1893, BB&S specimen book ( {BBS 1890s SB}):

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Patent D12,805

US design patent 12,805, "Design for a Font of Printing-Types." Issued 1882-03-14 to Charles E. Heyer. Assigned to Arthur M. Barnhart, Alson E. Barnhart, and Charles E. Spindler.

1. Notes and Bibliography

{BBS 1890s SB} [Great Western Type Foundry] Pony Specimen Book and Price List from Barnhart Bros. & Spindler . (Chicago: Barnhart Brothers & Spindler, [n.d.])

This specimen has been digitized by the Silver Buckle Press of the University of Wisconsin, Madison from the copy in their collection. See

{Eckman 1961} Eckman, James. "The Great Western Type Foundry of Barnhart Brothers & Spindler, 1869-1933" in Printing and Graphic Arts, Vol. 9 (1961): 1-33.

{Loy 1900} Loy, William E. "Designers and Engravers of Type," "No. 24, Charles E. Heyer." In The Inland Printer. Vol. 24, No. 4 (1900-01), p. 573. Reprinted by CircuitousRoot.

{Loy 2009} Loy, William E., with Alastair M. Johnston and Stephen O. Saxe, eds. Nineteenth Century American Designers and Engravers of Type. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2009.

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