Practical Typography

Mechanick exercises, or, The doctrine of handy-works applied to the art of printing.

Moxon, Joseph.

Mechanick exercises, or, The doctrine of handy-works applied to the art of printing. — London: Printed for Joseph Moxon, 1683 [i.e. 1684?].

Joseph Moxon (1627–1691), hydrographer, instrument maker, and printer, issued his Mechanick exercises in monthly installments over the course of six years beginning in 1677. The second volume, issued from 1683 to 1684, discussed printing and type-founding in exhaustive detail: it is in fact the truly first comprehensive manual on the art of printing in any language. The plate shows a matrix and a hand-mold for casting type.  

Acquired in 1888.

Manuel typographique, utile aux gens de lettres, & à ceux qui exercent les différentes parties de l’art de l’imprimerie.

Fournier, Pierre-Simon.

Manuel typographique, utile aux gens de lettres, & à ceux qui exercent les différentes parties de l’art de l’imprimerie. — Paris: [P.-S. Fournier], 1764–1766.

Junior son of a great printing family that included his father, Jean Claude (d. 1729) and elder brother Jean Pierre (1706–1783), Pierre-Simon Fournier (1712–1768) achieved renown throughout Europe for his printer’s ornaments, decorative types, vignettes, and fleurons.

Gift of David Wolfe Bruce, 1894.

The practice of typography: Plain printing types [corrected proof].

De Vinne, Theodore Low.

The practice of typography: Plain printing types [corrected proof]. — New York: De Vinne Press, 1894.

This proof of the first volume of De Vinne’s four-volume work on practical typography is corrected and annotated in his hand throughout. The text praises Morris’ Golden Type, but in his added manuscript notes, De Vinne is disparaging, claiming that “Mr. Morris is certainly more of a poet than of a printer.” De Vinne softened his views in the published version, but his original, unvarnished opinion of Morris is preserved in this unique corrected proof.

Gift of the De Vinne family.