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LUC DEVROYE


ABOUT







Joh. Enschedé en Zonen

John Berry reports: Joh. Enschedé en Zonen was founded in 1703, in the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands. It began as a printery, and it is still active as one of the most important printers in the Netherlands, printing the country's stamps and banknotes among other things. Enschedé began manufacturing type in 1743, after buying an existing type foundry, and over the course of more than two centuries, type founding was one of the most important parts of Enschedé's business. Many of the most respected type designers, from Johan Michael Fleischman in the 18th century to Jan van Krimpen in the 20th, worked for Enschedé. But Enschedé, like so many of the old-line type manufacturers, was severely affected by the changing technologies and business models of the font business, and in 1990 the type-foundry was moved out of its historic buildings, and effectively ceased to be a business. The Enschedé Font Foundry was established in 1991 by Peter Matthias Noordzij, to carry on the Enschedé tradition in a new form.

One of the family members, A.J. Enschedé, sketched the foundry's timeline in 1867:

  • Jean Enschedé (Jean being the French for Johan or Johannes) was an erudite man and entrepreneur, b. 1708, d. 1780. In 1743, he bought the foundry of Hendrik Floris Wetstein, who had started out in Basel but moved to Amsterdam. Wetstein's punches were engraved by Joan Michael Fleischman (b. Nurenberg, 1701, d. Amsterdam, 1768).
  • Both Fleischman and Jean François Rosart (b. Namur, 1714, d. Brussels, 1777) contributed type designs to Enschedé's new foundry.
  • The foundry also acquired matrices and punches from elsewhere, notably from many of the second level foundries that existed in Holland at the time of the birth of Enschedé's foundry. Enschedé and the competing foundry of the brothers Ploos van Amstel bought most of the stock in Holland, but nearly all of that material, often of lower quality, was molten and reused for other purposes. These second level foundries included
    • The foundry of the printer Bleau located in the Bloemgracht in Amsterdam; this foundry was sold in 1677 to engraver Dirk Voskens, whose successors were, in order, his son Bartholomeus Voskens, then widow Voskens and sons, and finally "Clerk en Voskens". Finally, Voskens was sold in 1780.
    • The foundry of Isaac and Hendrik van der Putte in Amsterdam.
    • The foundry of Antoine and Hendrik de Bruyn (later the Elix Foundry) in Amsterdam.
    • The foundry of J. van de Velde in Amsterdam, which was first sold to H. Uytwerf in Amsterdam, which in turn became "R.C. Alberts en H. Uytwerf" in Den Haag in 1750.
    • The foundry of Jan Smid and Joannes Dauu, which existed briefly around 1780 when its specimen book appeared. This foundry was probably sold to J. de Groot who moved the foundry to Den Haag. De Groot's specimens were published in 1781. De Groot became Harmsen, and Harmsen sold the foundry in 1818.
    • The foundry of Brouwer and Weyer, located in Amsterdam.
    • The foundry of J.L. Pfeiffer, situated in the Sint Janstraat in Amsterdam.
    • The foundry of pastor C. Nozeman in Haarlem.
    • The foundry of the brothers Ploos van Amstel in Amsterdam.
    • The foundry of the Elzevier family. In 1625, Bonaventure and Abraham Elzevier bought the ptrint shop of Isaac Elzevier (son of Mathieu), who was a printer at the University of Leyden. Their two sons, Daniel and Abraham, respectively, were named the official printers of that university. They worked together until 1654, when Daniel moved half of the foundry to Amsterdam where he kept working until his death in 1680. Daniel's sons continued for some time. They also owned a foundry im Amsterdam which employed Christoffel van Dijk as engraver. Daniel's successors left the foundry to Van Dijk who led it until 1683. In that year, the foundry was moved to the house of Joseph Athias, a librarian and printer in Amsterdam, who already had in his possession some punches and matrices by Van Dijk such as the famous Hebrew alphabet Van Dijk had made in 1662 and 1663 for his Hebrew bible. Athias's affairs were passed on to the Amsterdam-based p[rinter Jan Jacobsz Schipper. After Schipper, Schipper's widow (Clyburg) and her daughter kept running the business until 1705, when all was sold to another printer, Jan Roman, also in Amsterdam. Jan Roman's foundry was sold in 1767 in Amsterdam and bought by Jean Enschedé and the brothers Ploos van Amstel, who divided the loot. The foundry of Ploos van Amstel was later also sold to Jean Enschedé.

Publications include:

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Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html