Friday, September 3, 2010

Barnhart Brothers & Spindler Cardstyle Series

BB&S Cardstyle Series

Now that the summer is finishing up, we figure it is as good a time as any to post our summer hours card.  Looking to explore some of the different fonts we have in the museum we stumbled across this little gem: BB & S Cardstyle Series.  We have a case of this series, divided into four sections: 10pt, 12pt, 14pt, and 18pt.  Conveniently enough, the 12 and 14pt are cast on 18pt body so that setting up the job was quite easy.

BB&S Cardstyle Series

Perhaps the best sorts in the case were the dollar sign and the "special characters."  We tried hard to figure out how to add them into our card, but we thought that "McShakespeare Press Museum" might be a little confusing.

BB&S Cardstyle Series

Barnhart Brothers & Spindler (1868-1929) began when four Barnhart brothers purchased a majority interest in the Great Western Type Foundry.  After the great Chicago fire of 8 October 1871 destroyed the plant and melted the standing type forms, the firm began anew with typecasting machines from the East.

BB & S introduced the phrase "Copper-Mixed Type" in their advertising in June 1876 and the phrase was soon employed by the majority of type foundries.  Although the earliest BB&S catalogs emphasized the products of Eastern foundries of which BB & S were agents, they eventually introduced and patented approximately one hundred new type faces.  They resisted the new combination of American type manufacturers, which they termed the "type trust" but in 1911 they finally sold out to the American Type Founders Company.  However, they kept their own individuality and operated under their own name for another twenty years.

Barnhart Brothers & Spindler Catalog No. 25

The BB & S Type Catalog No. 25 (1925) is considered to be the best example of the company's designs, featuring the work of outside artists such as Will Ransom, Oswald Cooper, Carl S. Junge, George F. Trenholme, and Ethel G. Hoyle supervised by advertising manager Richard N. McArthur. The BB&S Cardstyle Series is included in the Catalog No. 25.

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