American Wood Type
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By the end of the eighteenth century, text types had been developed into their most refined form. The classical modern face was an upright roman with hairline serifs, defined by a strong contrast of strokes and a precise geometric construction. The extra bold types know as Fat Face were developed from this style, and distinguished by the addition of an exaggerated stroke contrast. The thick strokes were made dramatically fatter and the thin strokes remained hair-line. The introduction of the Fat Face is attributed to Robert Thorne in England after 1803. This style is considered the first type designed specifically for display or jobbing, rather than for book work.
The first instance of Fat Face in wood type was in the first wood type specimen book ever produced: Darius Wells’ 1828 Darius Wells, Letter Cutter. Of the thirteen pages in the specimen book, nine pages show Fat Face types. The style was produced by all wood type manufacturers until it began to lose popularity in the late 1840s. Page introduced Aetna as a sturdier display roman in his 1870 Specimens of Wood Type, to take the place of earlier Fat Face Romans.
Roman X Condensed