Looking for 19th-century lettering

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cumaso's picture
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Joined: 4 Mar 2008 - 2:28pm
Looking for 19th-century lettering
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I am looking for examples of hand-painted letters from the nineteenth century, especially created in North America. I am interested in finding a wide range of styles, so anything at all would be appreciated. Could anyone point me towards books, websites, etc. with examples?

Nick Curtis's picture
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Joined: 21 Apr 2005 - 8:16am
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http://www.signmuseum.net/library/topbooks.asp

A lot of the earlier books have carry-overs from the nineteenth century; unfortunately, a lot of these books are somewhat rare and, therefore, somewhat pricey...

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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Many towns and cities have municipal photo archives showing 19th century street scenes with merchant signage.
Some also have civic heritage organizations with similar resources.

This sort of thing:
http://pictopia.com/perl/get_image?provider_id=1072&size=550x550_mb&ptp_...

Nick Sherman's picture
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Joined: 5 Nov 2006 - 2:23pm
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You might be interested in this collection of 19th-c. lettering I put together from the photos at shorpy.com.

Justin Chodzko's picture
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Joined: 21 Apr 2008 - 7:32am
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This lovely book is about type from that era which was obviously influenced by hand-lettering.

[[http://www.artisticprintingbook.com/|The Handy Book of Artistic Printing]]

Also, similar to both Nicks' suggestions, check the local history sections in public libraries and bookstores. Most books of 19th Century photographs will have city scenes with signage.

[[http://www.handletteringforum.com/|The Hand Lettering Forum]] might be a good source of people restoring these signs or still using the techniques.