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As most of those I am acquainted with probably know, athough I never stopped being involved and passionate about it, de facto I have been away from actual typeface design for some years.
Now I have decided to resume (or at least to try to) work on typefaces, with a certain continuity, despite the limitations of time and due to family reasons.
This goes both for digital versions of lead typefaces which I am interested in and for my own designs, of course little by little, and taking all the time needed.
For a start, and to warm up again in drawing letter forms carefully, I’ve been cultivating interest in digital versions of lead typefaces I would like to use myself. Especially american typefaces from the late nineteenth century, in particular in the vein derived and/or related to Gustave F. Schroeder’s De Vinne.
Now, to the point: besides gathering further type specimens, I would need to contextualize the history of these typefaces and the historical unfolding of the foundries which released them. I have seen there are a few resources providing historical information on them, but I would like to ask to the experts here which would be the most accurate (but also concise, as I am not doing a proper research to write about them, just to understand better their spirit in context) source for this kind of research.
I am interested in particular in John F. Cumming’s Howland and in the whole De Vinne family (and derivates).
For example, I see that apparently Howland was released in 1892, before being incorporated in ATF's catalog. But De Vinne’s patent is from 1893, so I believe it’s unlikely as Howland apparently was designed as an alternative to De Vinne Condensed as a titling face. Is there further information on this?
Many thanks in advance. Any contribution, even minimal, will be greatly appreciated. And if I can reciprocate in some way, I'll be happy to do so. :-)