A few years ago (due to my research for "Linotype: The Film) I came across the book "Merchant of Alphabets" by Reginald Orcutt. It is a fascinating book published in 1945 about Orcutt's work and travels selling Linotypes around the world.
As you can read in the attached image, he visited at least 77 countries in the first half of the 20th century and tells great stories of travel, adventure, and includes a bit of typographic history. I am personally fascinated by his description of travel in the days of steamships, clippers, and telegrams.
The book is an auto-biography written in the charming, old-timey style of a travelogue. Orcutt comes across as an ambassador of Mergenthaler Linotype in the classiest of sense of the term.
Anyway, I'm considering trying to publish the whole book online, just for fun and to share with others.A few questions:
1 - Is anyone interested in this subject or book?
2 - Would you read a chapter per week as some sort of series of posts?
3 - Where should I publish something like this? Medium? Personal blog (which I don't have)?
4 - Any idea of issues with copyright? The book was published in 1945 by Doubleday, Doran and Company (which has now merged with Knopf). It is not on Google Books as far as I can tell.
Please be honest either way -- I'm not going to get offended if no one is interested. Maybe it is dumb idea, who knows?
P.S. — Loved "Linotype: The Film"!
If it was first published in the USA, and the copyright was never renewed, it is in the public domain.
If it was first published in the USA, and the copyright was renewed, it is currently set to expire in 2040—if US copyrights are not extended before that time.
It was published in 1945 by Doubleday, Doran and Company (which has now merged with Knopf) so I'm guessing they own the copyright. I would assume a big firm would not let the copyright go without at least one renewal, but the only way to know is to physically visit the copyright office (because they only have online records back to 1970s)
For an obscure backlist book they let go out of print for good... if I had to bet one way or the other, I'd bet on non-renewal.
Speaking as a writer who's dealt with more than one major US publisher, I would not bet the farm on their consistency or attention to detail. Or on their giving a toss about books that aren't big earners.
There may be a couple of Society of Printers members who knew Reginald Orcutt. I will check and let you know!
Looks like this is now handled by the current parent of Knopf (arrived at via knopfdoubleday.com/contact-us/): https://permissions.penguinrandomhouse.com/
Just what Kent said.
tl/dr: Hitler's personal preferences were for (monumental) roman antiqua types (the lure of the imperial);
but National Socialists in their public self-presentation adopted traditionalist German national cultural styles, including fraktur, which became ideologically de rigueur in many parts of public life (with notable exceptions) after they took power, and continuing into the war—and fraktur's proponents were in any case more inclined to oppose blackletter types to (modernist) sans serif types, not antiqua;
the shift in 1941 represented, not Hitler changing his mind about fraktur, or any nonsense about the desire to spread 'Nazi science' abroad, but the realities of communicating to populations in occupied territories where blackletter scripts had been out of any but display/ornamental uses for hundreds of years.
There are some details about Germany's sans/fraktur switcheroo in Paul Renner: The Art of Typography by Christopher Burke.
"We don't seem to hold any rights to this title, but it was published by Jarrold Publishing (UK) after us, you should try them."
So, I've sent off another email to see if Jarrold has anything on it.