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As a young man John Graham (1851-?) originally worked in a printing office and later went to work for MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan type foundry working on specimen books. At night he studied drawing and letter design, and bought engraving tools and taught himself type cutting. The foundry encouraged his efforts and in 1882 he joined the Marder Luse Foundry in Chicago where he cut Spinner Script and Spinner Script No. 2, and some sizes of Inclined Program. He cut a minion size map font for the Illinois Type Foundry, and eventually started the Graham type foundry, primarily cutting borders and ornaments, which were highly successful.