American Wood Type
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The veneer types were produced exclusively by the Hamilton Manufacturing Company. J.E. Hamilton invented the process in 1880, in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Cutting the letter design from a thin piece of Holly Wood, the letter was then affixed to a wood block. This was sanded and polished on the printing side, after which the back was planed to bring the block down to type-high. At the time, this was a major innovation in wood type production, allowing Hamilton to sell his Holly
Wood types at half the cost of his competition, who were producing wood type with the combined router/pantograph.
This less expensive production method gave Hamilton an economic advantage over his competitors. The Hamilton Mfg. Co. was able to acquire all of its major competition, including Page, Morgans & Wilcox, and Heber Wells, during the 1890s. Tubbs & Co., the last major competitor from the nineteenth century, was acquired in 1918.
Hamilton added the end-cut method to their production in 1888, and phased out use of the veneer method around 1890. After the acquisition of the William H. Page Wood Type Co. in 1891, Hamilton gained the machinery to produce type with the die-cut method. They continued using this method until around 1906.