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LUC DEVROYE


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Christopher Sower

Author of "Ein Geistliches Magazien, oder: Aus den Schätzen der Schrifftgelehrten zum Himmelreich gelehrt, dargereichtes Altes und Neues" (1770-1772), Germantown. I cite a blurb from an exhibit at Columbia University: "Christopher Sower (1721-1784) was one of the most prosperous printers and businessmen in the North American colonies. Around 1740 he imported type from the Egenolff-Luther foundry in Frankfurt and used it to print many books, including the 1743 German Bible, the first to be printed in any European language in America. By 1770 he had imported matrices as well, and by 1772 his son Christopher Sower II began what may be considered the first successful American type foundry, although he still used European equipment. The legend at the bottom of page 136 of this religious periodical, published in late 1771 or early 1772, reads "Printed with the first types that have been cast in America." When the younger Sower died in 1778, his estate contained not only letter molds but also a large quantity of antimony, the critical ingredient of type metal, which at that time had to be imported to America."

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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