Hamilton Wood Type Museum at Atlas Obscura

My daughter recently directed my attention to a fascinating site called Atlas Obscura which is a collection of articles on interesting phenomena and unique and unusual places and works of art.

The first thing which caught my eye was an article on a fascinating giant sculpture installation in Wisconsin called Dr.Evermore’s Forevertron which is a kind of post-industrial steampunk playground made up of discarded hardware and mechanical parts merged together into something whimsical and amazing.

From there I wandered around until I came on an excellent article on the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, also located in Wisconsin. It houses an extraordinary collection of 19th and early 20th century wood type from the Hamilton foundry which was the last major manufacturer of Wood Type in the United States, continuing to operate well into the 20th century. The article gives some history of how the foundry started and the role which it played keeping wood type alive far into the era of metal type.

Finding the article was a bit of synchronicity, because I’ve recently been acquiring type sample books from the Hamilton foundry as source material for future revival designs in the tradition of our Wild West font collection. Hamilton played a large role in frontier printing because their wood type and portable presses were convenient for printers on the move and working in rough conditions. The sample books I’ve picked up are particularly strong in basic, bold poster fonts and ought to be useful in my ongoing quest to develop bolder and better poster fonts.


We’ve actually done one font based on Hamilton type, with the uniquely unimaginative name Hamilton. It’s a curiously narrow style which we adapted for use on a movie poster several years ago.

So check out the Atlas Obscura and if you have a chance and know of something that ought to be added to it, you can actually add a new entry.

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