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Nov 7 / Scott

Bill Jones, Wood Type Cutter

bill jones

In the 1880’s hundreds of people were employed in the production wood type for the printing industry. Some worked to cut and prepare the hard maple for the production of the end grain wood slabs. Others were involved with cutting the type with pantographs, while others were skilled in trimming the wood type to complete the process. Most of them are gone.

In recent times there has been a revival of interest in new wood type for letterpress printing. Some people have experimented with CNC mill cutting and laser cutting of wood type. Bill Jones believed in cutting new wood type by the historical pantagraph method. He cut with the actual pantographs and patterns used by the American Wood Type Company to make their type.

Today the number of people who can put the title of “Wood Type Cutter” after their name can be counted on two hands. Most are in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. One was in New York state.

With the passing of Bill Jones, the list is now one craftsman less. He will be missed.

 

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