Fraktur pre-1890s, possibly J. H. Geiger (Lahr)


This Fraktur was used as mathematical notation by Frege in 1893, I would dearly love to know its origin. It is extremely close to the face used by J. H. Geiger (Lahr) in "Des Lahrer Hinkenden Boten neuer historischer Kalender für den Bürger und Landmann auf das Jahr 1883", used by Gilles Le Corre as the basis for his "1883-Fraktur". The differences are very slight, visible to me only in the roundedness and directions of the terminators and in the tightness of the upper and lower parts of the A and F. Hence I suspect that the above font is also due to Geiger, but an earlier or later version of that used in the "historischer Kalender". It would be too much to ask that someone has access to a specimen-book for Geiger (if such exists), but one never knows! Any other comments would be most welcome.


I don't know the answer to your origins question, other than to agree with Les that it seems to be a variant of the Luther fraktur.
This font was designed by Erasmus Luther in 1708. It falls between the earlier Gebetbuch Fraktur and the later Breitkopf Fraktur.
I can give you some links to fonts with fraktur symbols for mathematical notation:
A classical fraktur Brill
A simplified fraktur, Mathematica-6b font from Wolfram
Luc Devroye's page on mathematics fonts
Luc Devroye also has an extensive web page on Fraktur If you dig through the many fonts mentioned, it is possible that you might find an exact match which includes some information on the original designer of the typeface.
For what is in effect a digital encyclopedia of Fraktur see the fonts digitized by Gerhard Helzel For some comments on Mr. Helzel's project see the following web page by Luc Devroye
BTW the Frege Fraktur looks very similar to a pre-WWII typewriter typeface. This might support a theory that the Fege typeface is very close to to the basic fraktur design used in books. Here is a typescript of the letters.



Thanks for your interesting post -- Helzel's page is certainly a goldmine! The closest I could find in his Schriftmappe is the Weber Normalfraktur (Weber-Fraktur norm. on p. 2); this has an F with the same bulb terminating the mid-arm (a rather uncommon feature of Fraktur it seems, most seem to stay true to their calligraphic origin), but the Frege Fraktur's F has the arm higher and pointing upwards, it also has a more compact lower stroke ending with a tighter curl.


Hi Jim, I agree Helzel's page is a goldmine of information.
Happy to have been of some help in your origins quest.