It is perhaps not surprising that the history of metal type in the United States was marked by technological advances, corporate financial maneuvers and feisty individualism.
In the 1880s, Linn Boyd Benton (1844-1932) invented the pantographic punchcutter, a machine that helped to turn type production from an individual fine craft to an industrial process. Benton also influenced type history as the originator of the American Type Founders Company (ATF), formed in 1892 as a merger of more than 20 type foundries in the United States. Through further corporate acquisitions and type designs steered by marketing, ATF continued to grow and came to dominate the American type industry in the early 20th century.
Among the type designers contracted by ATF was Frederic Goudy (1865-1947). Goudy rebelled against European models, particularly against their revivalism. He assembled “rugged” types that purposefully confounded the categories of European type history.