Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Typeface Mystery: Can You Identify It?

Calling all typeface-fiends... a reader sent scans of some pages from a pre-World War II manuscript, and would like to know the machine it was typed on, if possible.

JPG scans are in my Google Drive here and individually, below:

Please offer up your guesses/clues in the comments, and any strategies you've used in your deductions. Thinking caps on!

5 comments:

John Cooper said...

This is not going to be easy. The scans are poor, and there are pencilled corrections that are sometimes hard to distinguish from the typed output. All the dashes are three characters long and may have been drawn in, because there's no spacing as you generally see when hyphens are strung together. The line lengths and glyph dimensions suggest a pica face. The ball terminals are prominent, which is typical of early type designs for typewriters. At least we can be sure that all the pages were typed on the same machine, with its low t's and high i's.

Richard P said...

One unusual character is the curly apostrophe.

John Cooper said...

Those are penciled in, I'd be willing to bet. The examples don't seem to match each other.

Martha Lea said...

Definitely not a Remington, the o is too oval.
I'm interested by the fact that the type is very misaligned within words, which makes me think of a wonky Blick.

Laurenz van Gaalen said...

The numerals have an uncommon glyph combination. Viewing 2900 random type samples to find a typewriter with matching numerals resulted in two matches (a 1932 Imperial Good Companion and a 1938 Olympia Filia). Unfortunately the letters in those type samples did not match with the manuscript.

Browsing type catalogs from Hammond (1915), RaRo (193x) and Royal (194x) did not return a match.

The t, i, I and " have a narrow design, resembling proportional type. The VariTyper comes to mind.
The ? has an elegant, curly design with a small dot, resembling typesetting type.

Type quality is bad. This could mean the typewriter was used a lot or was of bad quality.
The author used an I as 1. This could be out of habit or mean the typewriter had no 1 key.

Based on the above I am inclined to think the typewriter was an early, possible unusual machine.

References:
Random type samples: https://typewriterdatabase.com/typefaces.php
Type sample Good Companion: https://typewriterdatabase.com/1932-imperial-good-companion.6148.typewriter
Type sample Filia: https://typewriterdatabase.com/1938-olympia-filia.15158.typewriter
Type sample VariTyper: https://typewriterdatabase.com/1926-varityper-folding.4168.typewriter

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