Proof that Morris Fuller Benton's "Engravers Old English" typeface dates back to at least 1903

zeno333's picture

Morris Fuller Benton made the Blackletter typeface called Wedding Text in 1901. (It is now known as Linotext also.) Benton also made a later Blackletter typeface said to be an improvement on his Wedding text called "Engravers Old English". There is disagreement on when Engravers Old English was made, Wikipedia says 1906, other web sites claim 1907. I found a photograph of a church bulletin though that is dated 1903 on the back of the bulletin, that has Engravers Old English type on the cover. Attached here is the modern computer version of Engravers Old English with a part of the actual photograph right below that of the 1903 church bulletin. One can see they are exactly the same. So we have pretty much proof that the typeface goes back to at least 1903.
(The 1903 church bulletin picture is from this eBay item....
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1903-1905-First-Congregational-Church-Bulletins-...

PS...Just found a web page that says Benton's "Engravers Old English" dates back to 1902....Web site is at....
http://www.searchfreefonts.com/font/fmp-engravers-old-english-font.htm

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Engravers old English Typeface from 1903.jpg132.74 KB
oldnick's picture

Release dates as we know them do not apply to cast metal type. When ATF and oter folks put out a new specimen book, anything created since the previous one would have the same release date, i.e., the copyright date of the specimen book itself.

Nick Shinn's picture

The notion of publishing—i.e. making a typeface available to the public—is helpful.

That should be qualified as “available to see” rather than “available to purchase and use”, to account for proprietary usage.

In that sense, a proprietary typeface would be published by the foundry’s client, whereas a font for sale would be published by the foundry.

One can distinguish between a typeface design and a font in this manner; for instance the Wim Crouwel type designs that were published in the 1960s were not released as fonts until the digital era.

zeno333's picture

By the way, the 1903 church bulletin has both versions of the small letter "y".

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