Women Punchcutters?

nstockallen's picture

Can you tell me the names of all of the women who worked in the field of punchcutting?...I have Nelly Gable and Bertha Goudy but are are there any more that can be documented? Thanks.

typerror's picture

I wonder if Gudrun Zapf von Hesse cut her own for the bindings she did.


kentlew's picture

Nancy -- How literal are you being? I believe that the Goudys' process involved the cutting of matrices directly, not actual punches.

-- Kent.

nstockallen's picture

yes I mean traditional punchcutting, not using matrices.
I had read this quote, "Bertha herself, for example, cut their 24-point Deepdene italic design..." but the book "Bertha S. Goudy First Lady of Printing", explains she used the pantograph to engrave matrices. So that excludes her.
Can't find any reference for Gundrun Zapf Von Hesse ...any suggestion for source material?

kentlew's picture

Then I think you will be hard-pressed to find woman cutting punches.

The general acceptance of women into the workplace coincides roughly with the general decline of actual punchcutting in favor of the pantographic matrix-cutting machine. Even then, you are much more likely to find women in the drawing offices than operating the machining equipment. Bertha Goudy was an exception to this, since the Goudys were essentially a small family, cottage business.

Mark Batty Publisher has a book on the work of Gudrun Zapf von Hesse. She was wife of Hermann Zapf and a respected type designer in her own right.

But it's not in that specific context that you're likely to find her cutting punches, if at all. She was also an accomplished book binder. In that endeavor, she undoubtedly used punches for spines and covers.

As Michael suggests, she may have cut her own punches for that work. I don't know if this is true or not, and I don't know if the above-cited book would touch on such details or not. If she did cut such punches, I doubt these would have been used for any production of type as we know it, so I don't know if it falls completely within your criteria.

-- K.

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