Typeface Index: Type Writer (Central)

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Central Type Foundry, St. Louis. This was the first printing typeface done in imitation of the typewriter, and a very early typeface the matrices for which were engraved by machine.

It is documented in the following places:

In "Saint Louis' Place on the Type-Founders' Map." ( The Inland Printer. Vol. 79, No. 5 (August 1927): 764-766.) Nicholas J. Werner notes that this was the "first font of typewriter type" and that it "[achieved] so much popularity that it had to be cast by the ton." He notes further that "The patterns for it were made by Mr. [Gustave F.] Schroeder, and William A. Schraubstädter engraved the matrices on the machine [the Central Type Foundry Pantograph]. Your essayist [Werner] had the pleasure of setting up the first matter and taking the first proof of typewriter type." (765)

In his circa 1931 Address to the St. Louis Club of Printing House Craftsmen (reprinted as "St. Louis in Type-Founding History" Share Your Knowledge Review, Vol. 22, No. 3 (January 1941): 21-26. ), Werner confirms "Typewriter" as one of the first faces the matrices for which were cut directly by machine.

N. J. Werner, in digression on machine engraving in his article "Wiebking Created Popular Faces in Chicago, Friend Discloses" The Inland Printer Vol. 90, No. 2 (November 1932): 71-73 , says that "the first typewriter face was also cut with [ Central Type Foundry Pantograph]"

Maurice Annenberg, in Type Foundries of America and their Catalogs. Second Edition. (New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 1994) says that Central "was the first foundry to introduce typewriter type".

Robert A. Mullen, in Recasting a Craft: St. Louis Typefounders Respond to Industrialization. (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois Univ. Press, 2005). confirms Schroeder's responsibility for cutting the working patterns and Schraubstädter's work in engraving the matrices. He also says that "The design was suggested by J. C. Blair, Huntington, Pennsylvania." The J. C. Blair company sold typewriter supplies (e.g., "Blair's Keystone Typewriter Tablet") through at least the 1920s, before being absorbed into other firms.

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