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Barnhart Brothers & Spindler

Indices : Foundries : Barnhart Brothers & Spindler

Opened in Chicago as the Great Western type foundry in 1868. This firm had been founded by a family of German immigrants, but had never been very successful. It was bought out by the Barnhart Brothers later that same year and remaned Barnhart Brothers & Spindler. The Barnhart Brothers were newspaper publishers in Iowa who came to Chicago as advertising agents. They got into the type founding business by accepting type in lieu of cash for payment on a bill. They retained Herman Spindler as the foreman, since he was the only typefounder in the group.
They competed directly with the Marder Luse Foundry and several sales representatives for New York foundries. But the Barnhart brothers were extremely aggressive businessmen and their company grew to be the largest in Chicago. Their first type catalogs were small pocket size books called “pony” books still bearing the name Western Type Foundry. Later catalogs increased in format and thickness with the addition of many newly designed faces.
It was finally acquired by ATF in 1911; it closed in 1933. This foundry published many popular and lasting typefaces including Caslon Antique, Cooper Black and Caslon Openface.