Mallet Magic – Harry Breuer And His Quintet
2 Comments on “Mallet Magic – Harry Breuer And His Quintet”
Type on bars from xylophones and metallophones? I think that’s a first!
Also, calling Dan Reynolds: The typeface used for “a study in high fidelity sound” is a version of the design known as Longina (among other names), right? It’s not Akzidenz-Grotesk schmalhalbfett aka Standard Medium Condensed, since that version featured a single-storey g.
You mention that “[t]he design may have originated in Britain, France, or the United States instead, before being imported (or electrotyped illicitly) by German firms.” Seemann lists Schelter & Giesecke’s Schmale halbfette Steinschrift with a “Conners” (Conner’s?) credit. Maybe that’s a lead?
Florian! What a great tip! I had not followed up on the comment in Seemann regarding the origin of Schelter & Giesecke’s Schmale halbfette Steinschrift. But I am lucky enough to be able to do so now.
A friend of mine had some pages of “James Conner’s Sons, Type Founders, New York” catalogs photographed at the Letterform Archive. He shared them with me on the condition that I not publish them, and the files themselves are not the highest-resolution ever. However, in one of the two catalogs (I alas do not have a date) there is a typeface that seems to match Longina, etc.: Gothic Condensed No. 6. Underneath the typeface name is a line of text reading “Cast from solid copper matrices. Original.” There are 10 sizes, from Long Primer (10pt) to Six Lines Pica (72pt). There are many instances of the “splayed t” in the specimen text, as well as the odd double-storey g. The resolution is not ideal, but the exact skeleton of the double-storey g looks like it varies between sizes, and anyway it does not appear in the sample text of each of the sizes shown.
This is good enough for me to at least tentitively credit Conner’s Sons as the foundry where this design originated. That is pretty rad, though don’t you think? It means that one style of Akzidenz-Grotesk was born in New York! At least, sort of.