Nicolette Gray writes that Caslon's Circular of 1890 introduces Pisa,¹ a face identical to Erebus, which was designed by US German immigrant Gustave F. Schroeder for the Central TF (St. Louis) in 1889.² For dual-color work, he also designed Hades, a partially shaded outline derivative.

Timely specimens of Erebus and Hades are scarce. The earliest ones personally examined appear in the Central/Boston and Palmer & Rey catalogs of 1892—the same year that Central joined the ATF merger. As noted by Mullen,² Central’s own specimens display “patent pending” notices.

Schroeder’s spectacular designs, coveted worldwide, were definitely patentable. Even so, no patents were issued nor assigned to Central representatives after 1886–1887 (Art Gothic). Furthermore, no Central specimen marked “patent pending” ever displayed a US patent notice.

Erebus was shown by at least one other non-US TF besides Caslon: In 1894, Schelter & Giesecke (Leipzig) advertised it with the original tradename in Archiv für Buchdruckerkunst und verwandte Geschäftszwiege. The specimen is marked “Geschützt” [protected], the German equivalent of a US design patent(?).

Central president Carl Schraubstadter Sr., also a German immigrant, often visited his homeland and had a long history of business dealings there. Perhaps negotiations for rights to this face prompted “patent pending” status—in this rare case by S&G!

These letterpress typefaces have not been digitally archived for posterity.

More about THP revival projects:
More cool undigitized fonts:

More updates of Nicolette Gray’s research of 19th-century type trends in Great Britain:

¹Gray, N. (1938): XIXth Century Ornamented Types and Title Pages, pages 69, 193, 207. Faber and Faber Limited, London.
²Mullen, R.A. (2005): Recasting A Craft|St. Louis Typefounders Respond to Industrialization, page 141. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale.
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