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malcolm clapp

Fonts Used For Lachenal/wheatstone Numbers

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Can any one identify the font(s) used by Lachenal and Wheatstone for numbering on their paper labels or baffle material at the left-hand end of concertinas?

 

I note that these do not necessarily correspond with the font used internally.

 

Somebody asked me today and I don't know the answer. :(

 

MC

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I always thought they looked like the typeface of an ancient typewriter I once owned. I don't know if typewriters were around early enough.

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I always thought they looked like the typeface of an ancient typewriter I once owned. I don't know if typewriters were around early enough.

Theo,

 

Charles Wheatstone invented some typewriters in the 1850s, that typed on a paper strip (and look almost like musical instruments!) They're thought to be linked to his work on the telegraph, but maybe they were for typing concertina numbers instead. :unsure: Did it look like this one (from 1851)?

 

Wheatstonetypewriter.jpg

 

;)

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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Let's call it the famous Lachenal font. But I think they did not use a type writer. If you look at the lachenal 20b concertina on Theo's site:

 

http://theogibb.co.uk/old_site/instruments...enal199390L.jpg

 

then I would say that the numbers are stamped, although I remember that old type writers often did not print letters on the same level. Is there anyone who knows more about the way Lachenal printed the numbers?

 

If somebody would have a good picture of all 10 numbers then it may be quite easy to a graphic designer to tell the name of the font, or search it in a book. If the font is not somewhere on the shelf then it is possible to make a computer font out of it.

 

By the way, this question suggests that somebody wants to restore the numbered seal. As for one of my lachenals, it misses the lachenal label (who cares). Once I thought to put a new old label in. But if I would, what kind of paper and ink would lachenal have used? At some point there were more of these questions and it made me decide to (thanks for the words Dirge) let it be.

Edited by marien

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As for one of my lachenals, it misses the lachenal label (who cares). Once I thought to put a new old label in. But if I would, what kind of paper and ink would lachenal have used?

 

I cared enough about my badly disfigured Lachenal label to want to replace it. Oddly enough I only printed and fitted it today. I printed it on standard printer paper with an inkjet printer. It looks a bit bright and new but the idea was to have the maker's label in the concertina, not to pretend it was original. I've kept the fragments of the original label that will stay with the instrument. The serial number is still intact and legible, I've cut it out of the old gauze and it will be fitted to the new material which will be anything but sympathetic in an historical sense, being a modern material which is bronze in colour.

 

The label is there to acknowledge the maker, nothing more, and I think that's quite a nice thing to do. :)

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Can any one identify the font(s) used by Lachenal and Wheatstone for numbering on their paper labels or baffle material at the left-hand end of concertinas?

 

Malcolm,

 

somewhere there will be a group of people who are obsessed by ancient fonts, and who have found each other in this brave electronic age. I'm sure they would love to be asked this question... I'd start at Yahoo groups, they are sure to have email lists for the font obsessed...

 

Chris

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Looking at some of the old ledgers serial numbers, it almost looks like hand stamp with a rotating number wheels was used after a certain point...that would also account for imperfect alignment...

 

Wheatstone ledger

 

...and I thought I read somewhere that the gent who runs the current incarnation of wheatstone has such a stamp found amongst the company property he bought...which could include Lachenal's old stamp, since Wheatstone bought lachenal's spares, tools, and jigs...

 

And they could also have been made with metal wheels, maybe brass, rather than rubber...it would still print.

 

"Marking devices similar to rubber stamps but made of other materials were available in the early 1800s. By 1860, mechanical hand stamps made of metal were in common use. The actual inventor of the rubber stamp is a subject of controversy. L.F. Witherell of Knoxville, Illinois, claimed to have invented the rubber stamp in 1866 by having fixed rubber letters on the end of a bedpost for the purpose of marking the wooden pumps he manufactured with identifications. Unfortunately, Witherell never produced the landmark bedpost or other proof. James Orton Woodruff of New York borrowed the vulcanizer used by his uncle, a dentist. Rubber was used in dentistry to mold denture bases, and the small vulcanizers dentists operated were ideal for batch production of rubber stamps. Walnut mounts for Woodruffs stamps and items that have been printed with his stamps remain; the rubber stamps themselves were destroyed by ink that contained solvents.

 

There are other claimants to the inventor of the rubber stamp, but Woodruff and Witherell have left the best stories, if not convincing evidence. By 1866, rubber stamp businesses were flourishing, and L.F.W. Dorman commercialized the process by manufacturing vulcanizers specifically for stamp makers. By 1892, there were 4,000 rubber stamp manufacturers and dealers in the United States."

http://www.madehow.com/Volume-4/Rubber-Stamp.html

Edited by paperpunchr

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.................somewhere there will be a group of people who are obsessed by ancient fonts, and who have found each other in this brave electronic age. I'm sure they would love to be asked this question... I'd start at Yahoo groups, they are sure to have email lists for the font obsessed...

 

Chris

 

Chris

 

This might get you close. With a few questions describing the text an educated guess will show a good approximation of what you might be looking for. click on "Identify a Font" to get into it. Without a picture in front of me I could only guess at the proper choice. May not be exact, but I got close to the description. I believe the term is "ball serif font" :unsure:

http://www.identifont.com/

 

Thanks :unsure:

Leo

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Thanks for the link Leo; checking the number off my Lachenal the nearest font I can find is called LTC Bodoni Bold.

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Also quite close may be the Parma Typewriter NB font.

Edited by marien

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Can any one identify the font(s) used by Lachenal and Wheatstone for numbering on their paper labels or baffle material at the left-hand end of concertinas?
somewhere there will be a group of people who are obsessed by ancient fonts, and who have found each other in this brave electronic age. I'm sure they would love to be asked this question... I'd start at Yahoo groups, they are sure to have email lists for the font obsessed...

That might work, but I don't think it's necessary that the stamped numerals adhered to any particular named font. If I were to carve linoleum blocks in order to print numerals (or letters), would someone want to know what "font" I was carving? I think it's quite possible that someone making numeral stamps -- whether in steel or rubber -- simply made a set that looked "right" to his/her eye and didn't even think of how closely it might match someone else's "font", named or otherwise. Remember the backwards "N" on some Jeffries instruments? What "font" would that be, I wonder?

 

Also quite close may be the Parma Typewriter NB font.

If Malcolm's real purpose is not to name the "font", but merely to duplicate it as closely as possible in making new or replacement labels, then something like "Parma Typewriter NB" might be the way to go. I don't think it's quite as critical as in the story that a friend, a professional typesetter, told me some years ago:

The company he worked for had gotten an order to print up cigaret packs, which included the US-government-mandated health warning. It seems that the government specification for the health warning extended beyond its size and what it should say; it also stated what font had to be used. My friend's company didn't have that particular font available, so they substituted one that was "almost" the same. The government inspector needed a magnifying glass to tell the difference, but he used one, and then he made them destroy the entire print run and redo it with the "correct" font (which they then had to purchase for that purpose).
:ph34r:

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If Malcolm's real purpose....

 

Excuse me!?!? :o :angry:

 

 

Actually, my real purpose was to unearth Stephen's lovely photo of the Wheatstone typewriter. Thanks, Stephen. :)

Edited by malcolm clapp

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Many thanks for the web pages and suggestions.

 

Will pass them on to my customer and he may be able to draw some conclusions by comparison with his concertinas.

 

Personally, I am reminded of the John Bull Printing Set I had as a small boy.... :lol:

 

MC

Edited by malcolm clapp

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The company he worked for had gotten an order to print up cigaret packs, which included the US-government-mandated health warning. It seems that the government specification for the health warning extended beyond its size and what it should say; it also stated what font had to be used. My friend's company didn't have that particular font available, so they substituted one that was "almost" the same. The government inspector needed a magnifying glass to tell the difference, but he used one, and then he made them destroy the entire print run and redo it with the "correct" font (which they then had to purchase for that purpose).

 

I suppose they burned the erroneous print run which along with the cigarettes meant even more good money up in smoke!

 

Thanks for that "font" of knowledge, Jim.

 

Greg

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Can any one identify the font(s) used by Lachenal and Wheatstone for numbering on their paper labels or baffle material at the left-hand end of concertinas?
somewhere there will be a group of people who are obsessed by ancient fonts, and who have found each other in this brave electronic age. I'm sure they would love to be asked this question... I'd start at Yahoo groups, they are sure to have email lists for the font obsessed...

That might work, but I don't think it's necessary that the stamped numerals adhered to any particular named font.

 

Not necessary but I'd be really surprised if they didn't adhere closely. Inventing fonts is more complex than one might think, and no-one in business is going to spend the time when they could copy one.

 

Chris

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Actually, my real purpose was to unearth Stephen's lovely photo of the Wheatstone typewriter. Thanks, Stephen. :)

My pleasure Malcolm,here are a few more:

 

WheatstoneTypewriters1851-60.jpg

 

They're all in the Science Museum.

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I suppose they burned the erroneous print run which along with the cigarettes meant even more good money up in smoke!

Well, back then nobody seemed to be worried about carbon dioxide emissions. :ph34r:

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...I don't think it's necessary that the stamped numerals adhered to any particular named font.

Not necessary but I'd be really surprised if they didn't adhere closely. Inventing fonts is more complex than one might think, and no-one in business is going to spend the time when they could copy one.

I don't doubt that, but the copy could depart from the original in amounts that most people would find insignificant, yet which would still exceed the limits of an official font specification. The story I related in my earlier post illustrated just how strict the specification of a named font can be.

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