world war 2 era mystery font

Hi all - I've got a mystery font that was used on a military plaque that was made between 1945 and 1976 (circumstantial evidence suggests the plaque was most likely made between 1945 and 1947). It has a serif style that is similar to the fonts listed below:

Amplitude BRK
Combustion BRK
Combustion Plain BRK
Combustion II BRK
Combustion Wide BRK

...but the shapes of most of the letters and numbers don't match any of these.

I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the image - it's the best I could do.

I've been trying to identify this font for the longest time - everyone who's had a look so far has been stumped. Thanks in advance.

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Bryant_Font_chopped.gif15.55 KB
oldnick's picture

Since you found this type on a plaque, my guess is that it's something peculiar to an engraving machine manufacturer, such as Hermes. The closest precursor I could find was a face called Curved Egyptian, from the 1888 James Connor's Sons specimen book.

bowfinpw's picture

The "HAMBURGEFONS" sample suggests that this is a foundry sample, rather than anything from a military plaque. Are you sure you posted the image you intended?

Also what is the source of these BRK fonts? Are these from some font CD you have?

(BTW, the font design of "Bryant Font Chopped" looks rather crude, and not much like I would expect to see on a military plaque.)

- Mike Yanega

cerebralfitness's picture

Hi - thanks for the responses. The image I posted was something I pasted together in photoshop. I figured those letters would be the ones that people might find most useful for identification. The image I have of the mystery font portion of the plaque exceeds the width limit for posted images on this board, but I'll post the original from the plaque here, cut in two pieces.

The image itself is crude. I once had a higher-resolution image of it, but lost that years ago. I agree - the font itself doesn't look like what you'd expect on a military plaque. This plaque was made to commemorate sailors killed by a kamikaze attack, and my guess is that it was probably commissioned and paid for by the crew itself rather than the navy, hence the slightly informal appearance of it.

The plaque was lost when the ship was scrapped in the 70s, and the crewmembers have been trying to track it down in the years since. I'm trying to get a replica made for them, but can't just yet because I haven't been able to identify this font.

Funny, but I realized this request is kind of timely, with today being Memorial Day!

bowfinpw's picture

This looks like a late 19th century squared Tuscan style, if there was such a thing. I tried to look for squared fonts with, or without, serifs, that might be a starting point to re-create this look. A sans that seems to have approximately the right shapes is Stratum 2. By adding flattened V-shaped serifs to this you might get close.

Other fonts that had sort of this look were Kwersity, Railway Point, Valgal and Wyoming Pastad (all at MyFonts). They all had straight serifs, but those could be replaced.

Another sans that had the right 'skeleton' was Serpentine Sans, although it's not a monotone font.

- Mike Yanega

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