Mural, Façade
Mural is one of 17 patented type designs acquired by John K. Rogers, Agent of the Boston Type Foundry, in 1877–1881. During this period, BTF employed no staff designer nor punch-cutter¹ and so could not originate and produce new faces.

The resourceful Mr. Rogers offset this liability by negotiating production and/or distribution rights with the Caslon TF (London). Nicolette Gray reports that Mural was advertised in the Caslon Circular of 1884.¹ There are several other examples beginning in c1879.

The unknown designer of BTF Mural was probably an independent lettering artist residing in or visiting Boston (Ludvig S. Ipsen? a Prang consultant?). As Inventor of Record, Rogers patented Mural in 1881; it was shown in the 1880 BTF catalog.

A condensed derivative, BTF Façade, was introduced later; US specimens display a patent notice “piggy-backing” the USPTO record for Mural. The earliest one personally examined in available resources is illustrated by Gray, who identifies it as Caslon’s Mural Compressed, 1886.

During his BTF employment in 1881–1884, John F. Cumming cut both Mural and Façade. Between 1888 (when Central TF purchased Boston TF) and 1891, Julius Herriet Jr. (Boston) and Gustav F. Schroeder (Central) designed and/or cut additional sizes of both faces plus a new derivative, dual-case Façade Condensed

Mural and Façade have been digitally revived for posterity. Façade Condensed has not.

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

More THP revival projects:
More cool undigitized fonts:

¹Gray, N. (1938): XIXth Century Ornamented Types and Title Pages, page 206. Faber and Faber Limited, London.
²Loy, W.E. (1898–1900): Designers and Engravers of Type. In The Inland Printer, July 1898 (Cumming), December 1898 (Schroeder), July 1899 (Herriet Jr.), January 1900 (Heyer).
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