Welcome to Typophile
Please Sign in.

Victorian Era Typefaces

Hey everyone, I'm doing a project involving Vaudeville and looking to incorporate Victorian Era faces.

I know a lot of these aren't digitized, but can anyone identify any of the faces in these images which I scanned from an 1898 city directory?

I've attached these as image links, so sorry for the inconvenice, I can't seem to upload images with the new maximum file size (anyone know what it is by the way? I can't even squeak in tiny little .gif files) and can't link either :(

Anyways, here are the links for anyone willing to cut and paste them:


Thanks so much!


'Beaumarchais' ( Scriptorium ) may be close enough for 'Train & Harty' + 'Insurance'..

P22 has a search by period. Could be incredibly useful.

May I recommend P22 Kilkenny

Ok. I thought I was in the DESIGN section. I need to make the type larger for my eyes. ehehe. Sorry. P22 might still have something though.

Oh, And, 'Paydirt' ( CSA Fonts ) may get you close to 'Broughton Street'..

TRAIN & HARTY and INSURANCE used a typeface called Columbus Bold. Beaumarchais is a digitization of Columbus (not bold). The only digital version of Columbus Bold I know of is Brendel Informatik's Columbus.

'Civil Engineer and Architect' was done, I think, in a typeface called Obelisk. I'm not aware of any digital versions, though.

Alternatives might be Letterhead Fonts' digitization of Asteroid which they call LHF Ambrosia. This is squared and upright like Obelisk, but perhaps too heavy. A font with a similar weight, but fancier, would be Jugend WF from Walden Fonts.

Ooohh, just discovered the nearly new Solotype offering Sentry. A much better alternative to Obelisk.

looks like there's a bit of DeVinne Italic in there... i'll take a closer look when i have more time...

Thnx for the plug, Miss Tiff! ;^)

Interesting... that's different from the De Vinne Italic I know


You will find tons of Victorian fonts in the Solotype library

Wow. Now here's synchronicity at work; regards the typography.3.jpg - last week a student called Minna Pesonen left samples reproduced from a 1906 newspaper featuring the very same typeface on my desk, with a request to please identify the headline type.

Although I looked for it myself in various references (including the very Victorian Typographical Volume, Early Advertising Art by Clarence Hornung) to no avail, I also directed her to this site, but without realising this particular face was already under discussion.

Looks like Columbus Bold/Beaumarchais is about to enjoy a resurgence in popularity...!