Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Great Chicago Fire and type

Daughter Number Three asked in a comment if I knew about the role of the Great Chicago Fire in standardizing type sizes. Not me. She then provided a brief history in another comment. Thank you, DN3.

Between comments, I found this page about type at Sizes: The Online Quantinary. The page covers the development of type sizes, with a nod to the Great Chicago Fire and what looks like an exhaustive list of British and American sizes, from the wee Minikin, or Excelsior, on up.

Excelsior: a type size, the wood shavings used as packing material, the New York State motto, and Jean Shepherd’s rallying cry to his radio audience all those years ago.

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