Keystone Type Foundry
Philadelphia-based foundry, 1888-1917. The history of this short-lived foundry was told by James Eckmann in The Keystone Type Foundry, 1888-1917: a reprint [from] Printing&graphic arts, volume VI, number 1, February 1958 (Lunenburg, Vermont: The Stinehour Press, 1958). Their work appeared in Keystone Type Foundry, 1901 (362 pages), Abridged specimen book, type: nickel-alloy on universal line comprising a price list of types, borders, leads and slugs, brass rule, brass galleys; miscellaneous cuts and general supplies for printers (1906, 636 pages, see also here, here and here), A book of Keystone type typefaces (2nd ed., Philadelphia, ca. 1920), Catalogue and specimen book. Keystone products, consisting of type, material, furniture, complete line of miscellaneous supplies for printers and publishers, machinery and wood goods (Philadelphia, ca. 1910), See also Keystone Products Catalogue and Specimen Book, Consisting of Type, Material, Furniture, Complete Line of Miscellaneous Supplies for Printers and Publishers, Machinery and Wood Goods (1915).
Typefaces: Admiral, Ayer (Mac McGrew: Ayer was introduced by Keystone Type Foundry in 1909, which said it was "named for F. Wayland Ayer, founder of Keystone Type Foundry and the great advertising agency which bears his name." The non-kerning italic was added in 1910.), Ben Franklin, Ben Franklin Condensed, Ben Franklin Open, Bulletin, Caslon Adbold, Caslon Adbold Extended, Caslon Adbold Extra Condensed, Caslon Bold, Caslon Bold Condensed, Caslon Bold Extended, Caslon Bold Italic, Caslon Lightface, Caslon Lightface Condensed, Caslon Lightface Italic, Caslon Title Extended, Charcoal, Charter Oak (1899), Compressed Gothic, Condensed Lining Gothic, Crayonette, Elite Typewriter, Gothic Condensed No. 3, Gothic No. 102, Gothic No. 114, Harris Italic (1910), Harris Roman (1909), Herculean Gothic, Italia Condensed (1906), John Alden Decorative Initials (1906), John Hancock, John Hancock Condensed, John Hancock Extended, John Hancock Outline, Keystone Gothic, Laureate (1906: revived in 2012 by Isabel Urbina), Lining Antique [Keystone], London Gothic (1910 or earlier), New Model Remington Typewriter, Outline, Outline Condensed, Remington, Remington Typewriter, Round Gothic (1884), Skeleton Lining Gothic, Skeleton Lining Gothic No. 19, Smith Premier, Title Gothic [Title Gothic No. 9, Condensed Title Gothic No. 11], Venezia, Washington Text (1902, blackletter), Washington Text Shaded.
Digital pictures I took from the Specimen Book of Type (1903): Bulletin, Keystone Bikes, Boldface Cellini, Crayonette Open, Keystone Cyclers, Encore, Lining Antique, Lining Gothic, Outing Initials, Remington Typewriter, Remus, Ronde Initials, Salem (a wedge serif revived in 2021 by Latinotype as Osbourne), Venezia, Victoria Italic, Worcester. Catalog A-C, Catalog C-P, Catalog P-Z.
- Miletus Grotesk (2021, Mario Feliciano) revisits Standard Gothic (1906).
- The slab serif John Hancock (ca. 1903) and condensed slab serif John Hancock Condensed (ca. 1917, Lanston Monotype) were digitized as Hancock RR (1994) and Hancock Pro (2017) by Steve Jackaman (Red Rooster).
- The Remington typewriter typefaces (ca. 1905) were digitized as Secret Service Typewriter RR (2002) by Steve Jackaman (Red Rooster).
- Roman TyresRR (1997) was made by Steve Jackaman (Red Rooster).
- Poor Richard RR is based on a Keystone design from 1919, namely Ben Franklin, Ben Franklin Condensed, Ben Franklin Open (named after Benjamin Franklin's "Poor Richard Almanack"). There is also a free font Poor Richard (1994, Projective Solutions).
- Jeff Levine's Keyden Drop Caps JNL (2021) is a set of slab serif framed capitals based on John Alden Initials, shown in the 1906 edition of the Keystone Type Foundry specimen book.
- Caslon FB (1992, Font Bureau) comes with this text: Our familiar Caslon Bold headletters were invented around the turn of the twentieth century in the United States and were only loosely based on William Caslons romans. The best of the Caslon Bolds originated at the Keystone Type Foundry of Philadelphia, whose Caslon Bold Condensed appeared about 1905, probably drawn by R.F. Burfeind. Jill Pichotta revised his Bold Condensed&drew the Bold Extra Condensed.
- Gibbs Mason designed the art nouveau typeface Vanden Houten (1904) at Keystone. This typeface was remade by Dan X. Solo as Dutch Treat at Solotype.
- Emerge BF (2009, John Bomparte) is a flare serif typeface that was inspired by Admiral, c.1900.
- Old Softy NF (2010, Nick Curtis) is a soft round typeface based on Round Gothic (1884).
- Charter Oak is similar to Royal Gothic (Stevens Shanks & Sons). For a digital revival, see Gothic Grotesk JNL (2020, Jeff Levine) or OPTI Charter Oak (by Castcraft).
Comments by Mac McGrew:
- On Harris Roman: Harris Roman was announced by Keystone Type Foundry in 1909. It was "named in honor of the late Joel Chandler Harris, author of Uncle Remus." It is a plain modernized roman, somewhat similar to Century Expanded. In 1910 Harris Italic was added; it was designed to be cast without kerns. Advertising claimed, "Non-kerning italics will save endless annoyances and losses resulting from broken letters, and the purchase price is the same as any other type of our make."
- On Charter Oak: Charter Oak is a heavy, inclined gothic introduced by Keystone in 1899. There is a fair amount of contrast, and round letters are flat sided or nearly so. London Gothic (q.v.) was a comparable upright face, and Royal Gothic of the 1880s from another foundry is quite similar. Compare Doric Italic.
- On London Gothic: London Gothic was issued by Keystone Type Foundry in 1910 or earlier, but is virtually a duplicate of Royal Gothic, shown by Marder, Luse&Co. in 1887. It is similar to the same founder's Charter Oak series, but upright. Although the italic typeface survived Keystone's acquisition by ATF in 1919. London Gothic does not appear to have done so. See Charter Oak.
Keystone Type Foundry
Foundries of the 19th century ⦿
Extinct 20th century foundries ⦿
Blackletter fonts ⦿
Font names/aliases ⦿
Typewriter fonts ⦿
Type scene in Pennsylvania ⦿
Art Nouveau typefaces ⦿
Victorian typefaces ⦿
Dan X. Solo ⦿
Ronde (Rondo, Rundschrift): Upright scripts ⦿
Typefaces that emulate crayons ⦿