Wood Type

Painters Roman

07-09-Painters-Romanby Jim Thompson, IPM Board of Trustees

The wood type for July is called Painters Roman. Like June’s Aetna, this type was also produced as a sturdier replacement for the somewhat fragile thin strokes of the Roman wood-type. As such it was in competition with Aetna. Painters Roman is concave lettering made up of thick and thin strokes like its Roman predecessor, but the thin strokes are a little thicker and the thin serifs are totally eliminated.

It was first produced by Vanderburgh and Wells in the late 1870s with the formal name of Painters Roman Condensed No. 2. In 1880, the Wm. Page Wood Type Co. issued a very similar typeface called Page No. 111. Wells followed this by issuing Painters Roman Condensed No. 1 which was very similar to Page’s Aetna condensed. This continued, resulting in a range of variations for both typefaces produced by both companies.

Our sample is in the Wells 5 line variety of Painters Roman Condensed No. 2.