The lovely people at Unicorn Graphics
have put together a fantastic Web Museum of Wood Types & Ornaments
showcasing a selection of specimen catalogues, borders, cuts and engraved woodblocks.
Their mission is to, "gather, save, preserve, and interpret wood types and information about them"
to educate future generations, "on the beauties of wood types and engraved blocks"
They've already succeeded in educating me - I'm a massive fan of wood type blocks, but had never really considered the circumstances in which they first came about, but now I know: "As the demand for broadsides increased during first years of the nineteenth century, the need for the process of producing large letters cheaply arose. Wood was a logical material choice because of its ready availability, lightness, and proven printing qualities. In 1827, Darius Wells of New York City first found the means to mass produce wood letters. In March of 1828, first wood type catalogue was published by Wells"
It's an amazing resource and I can't wait to go through all the content, so far I've only had enough time to look through a couple of the catalogues. That's my weekend planned out!
Images copyright Unicorn Graphics.