Ecclesiastic
McGrew discusses a face tradenamed Ecclesiastic in the US as Bruce’s Ornamented No. 540 of 1876 and notes alternate tradenames Tudoresque and Victoria.¹ Nicolette Gray attributes it to G. Bullen c1876 as Universal Black.²

The earliest specimen personally examined appears in the Boston TF catalog of 1860 with the tradenames Ecclesiastic (great primer) and Tudoresque (pica).

It is highly unlikely that BTF’s Ecclesiastic was the original. The only US TFs known to originate new type designs before 1865 (end of Civil War) are Bruce (New York) and Johnson (Philadelphia, fore-runner of MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan). The earliest evidence of US exports occurs in 1875.

The first identified BTF designer was Andrew Gilbert [1821–1873], a specialist in roman book faces who joined the staff in 1862. The most likely scenario is that this face was cut by Samuel S. Kilburn [1799–1864], a BTF employee since c1822,³ and that his working specimen was French.

According to Gray,² the Bullen TF (London) continued in existence until at least 1938. Even so, note that the Spring 1878 edition of Hailing’s Circular (Cheltenham, England) identifies it as Ecclesiastic, the BTF tradename.

Thomas Hailing, an out-spoken champion of US design innovation and TF management policies, cultivated an active working relationship with BTF, who in turn collaborated with the Caslon TF.

This letterpress typeface has been digitally archived for posterity.

More about THP revival projects: forums.typeheritage.com/status/
More cool undigitized fonts: forums.typeheritage.com/undigitized/

More about Boston-Caslon connections: typeheritage.com/jfc/part-vii/jfc-07c/
More updates of Nicolette Gray's research of 19th-century type trends in Great Britain: forums.typeheritage.com/gray-chart/
____

¹McGrew, M. (1993): American Metal Types of the Twentieth Century (Second, Revised Edition), page 342. Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, DE.
²Gray, N. (1938): XIXth Century Ornamented Types and Title Pages, pages 190/121. Faber and Faber Limited, London.
³Loy, W.E. (1898–1900): Designers and Engravers of Type. In The Inland Printer, August 1898 (Gilbert) and November 1898 (Kilburn).
3 photos · 17 views