[UK] Austin Letter Foundry (Wood)

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1. Overview

1862 - at least 1916. London.

Nicolette Gray does the best job I've seen distinguishing this Austin Letter Foundry from the other Austin Letter Foundry.

Recall that the other Austin Letter Foundry (the one actually started by Richard Austin circa 1815) was purchased no later than 1839 by Richard Mason Wood. Richard Mason Wood died in 1845. He had four sons, but none of them were taken into partnership in that firm. Two of his sons (J. Wood and R. [M.?] Wood) later (1856) bought that firm at auction in chancery and continued it for a while before selling out to Figgins.

But what of the other two sons, Austin Wood and Rowland Wood?

In 1862 (Gray says) or 1864 (Moseley et. al. say), they purchased an entirely different foundry, that of George Williamson.

At some point, Austin and Rowland Wood begin trading as the Austin Letter Foundry. (Whether they waited until the Austin Letter Foundry owned by their brothers was sold to Figgins, or not, I do not yet know.)

Moseley et. al. identify a James Wood (in 1872 in Bear Alley (p. 12) and in Newcastle Street 1876-1880 (p. 20)). Whether this James Wood was connected with the Austin and Rowland Wood firm I do not know.

The following photograph of the exterior of The Austin Letter Foundry Ltd. appeared in 1907:

[click image to view larger]

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(From The Inland Printer, Vol. 39, No. 5 (1907-08): 707. Here is a PDF of the entire three-page article in which this image appeared: inland-printer-v039-n5-1907-08-hathi-mdp-39015086781286-pp0706-0708-img0856-0858-london-typefoundries.pdf Digitized by Google from the University of Michigan copy and available via The Hathi Trust. Hathi ID: mdp.39015086781286 )

The Austin Letter Foundry continued until at least 1916 (Moseley et. al., p. 23).

Gray, Nicolette. XIXth Century Ornamented Types and Title Pages. London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1938.

Moseley, James, Justin Howes, and Nigel Roche. Founder's London A-Z. London: The [European] Friends of the St. Bride's Printing Library, 1998.)

Reed, Talbot Baines. A History of the Old English Letter Foundries. London: Elliot Stock, 1887.

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