Anne Thomen


American printing of the late nineteenth century was crude and commercial in the worst sense. The ideals and vitality that William Morris, Emery Walker, C. H. St. John Hornby, Charles Ricketts, T.J. Cobden-Sanderson and others injected into English printing during the last decades of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth were known to relatively few Americans. One of those few Americans was Frederic W. Goudy, March 8, 1865--May 11, 1947. Paul Johnston in an article for the Fleuron (No. VII, 1930, p. 191A) wrote, "It was the part of Frederic W. Goudy to help the general printer in America to understand and to learn from the movement which began with Morris. And it is to Mr Goudy that American printing owes much of the strength and charm which may be claimed for the common, as well as the fine, work to-day." Goudy's activities in printing-related fields included type design and manufacture, writing and speaking to the public about the principles of letter forms, type design and typography, and operation with his family of a private press for thirty-odd years. Through these activities Goudy's influence on printing was amazingly great, yet no analytical and thorough studies of him exist. Rochester Institute of Technology received in 1975 several boxes of Goudy's private correspondence. Most of the approximately 1600 letters were addressed to Goudy during the years 1936-1946. The correspondents were printers, educators, type foundry personnel, book collectors, equipment manufacturers, family and friends, and their letters deal with business as well as personal activities. This thesis has involved editing the letters into a calendar. The contents of each letter has been abstracted, with important information being quoted. Background material has been added to clarify an entry or to refer to related correspondence. Indexes of personal and company names and Goudy type faces have been prepared as reference aids to the calendar. The entries have been arranged chronologically to follow Goudy s daily life in the ten year period. It was expected that a calendar form of the correspondence would allow the material therein to be fully utilized. Further, it was hoped that the information in the letters would contribute measurably to a serious study of Frederic Goudy. It will be for future Goudy researchers to test those expectations, but confirmation seems probable.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Goudy, Frederic W. (Frederic William), 1865-1947--BIography; Goudy, Frederic W. (Frederic William), 1865-1947--Correspondence; Printers--United States--Correspondence

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (CIAS)


Bidwell, John


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in December 2013.

Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at Z232.G68 T49


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