Hello - my name's Finn; I'm working on a series of projects about the mechanization of the human hand - exploring things like buttons, motion studies, histories of handwriting, proto-ergonomics. An issue of major interest to me has to do with the standardization and interchangeability of early typefaces - how good were the knockoffs? If you bought up the type from a defunct house that was cut from the same plan as a font family you already owned, what were the chances that you could swap out letters? I'm interested in the economics, in the cultures and habitus of early designers and cutters, the personal and the universal (universal in the sense that interchangeable parts for the Model T or the Wood reaper were universal) in letterforms.
So of course I'm doing a ton of archival research, but I thought I'd ask here: Which books in this range would you particularly recommend? Extra thanks for any books that reproduce primary sources in early printing culture - wills, letters, auction records, inventories . . . And, since I'm just digging into this, it's possible somebody's done it well already - please deliver the smackdown and I'll move on.
Many thanks for your time. If you want to reach me off the thread, email f at mavo dot nu, or IM rundfunkantiqua.