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ATF and BB&S Catalog Information

Detailed information about typeface catalogs from two of America's most prominent foundries.

From its formation in 1892 (from the merger of 23 leading foundries) to its demise in the late twentieth century, American Type Founders was the dominant force in foundry type. Throughout its existence, ATF produced some of the most beautiful printing fonts. During its first half century, those faces were displayed in a series of substantial catalogs.

Chicago's Barnhart Brothers & Spindler foundry chose not to join the ATF combine in the 1890s. It finally became part of ATF in 1911, but continued to operate under its own name until it was closed in 1933.

Based upon Mac McGrew's American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century, Maurice Annenberg's Type Foundries of America and their Catalogs, and a review of ATF type catalogs published in 1897, 1899, 1900, 1903, 1906, 1909, 1912, 1923, 1934, 1941, 1960, and 1971 (plus BB&S catalog No. 25), I've compiled a spreadsheet of ATF typefaces, their identification numbers, and which page numbers they appeared on in those catalogs. I put together a similar spreadsheet for BB&S catalogs that were published in 1897, 1909, and 1925.

You can download the 349 Kbyte Excel spreadsheet to your computer, then have fun re-sorting the faces based on ID number, number of catalogs they appear in, contents of a particular catalog, etc. You may need to right-click the link and save the file ("Save Target As..." menu item) in order to copy it to your system.

There's a lot of information in the spreadsheet, and no doubt a few errors crept in. Please report any problems to me, using the address at the bottom of this page.

The following PDF files (ready for display or printing using the Adobe Acrobat Reader, freely available from Adobe Systems) were prepared from the individual worksheets in the spreadsheet file. Use them if you don't have access to Excel.

Related Web links...

Many thanks to Jim Gard, Dave George, Walt Marder, and Steve Saxe for assistance in researching type catalogs.