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British Industrial History

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Edmund Fry

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Edmund Fry (1757–1835), typefounder

1757 Born in Small Street, Bristol, on 2 February, the second of the three sons of Joseph Fry, chocolate manufacturer and typefounder, and his wife, Anna.

He studied medicine, took the degree of MD at Edinburgh, and spent some time at St George's Hospital, London.

1764 Joseph Fry became a partner in the Bristol Letter Foundry with the printer William Pine.

c.1768 The business moved to Queen Street, near Upper Moorfields, London, where they operated as printers and typefounders.

1782 Joseph Fry took his two elder sons, Henry and Edmund, into partnership in the type foundry business. His younger son subsequently joined the chocolate business.

1784 Cut a type suitable for embossing words on paper for the blind although this was not adopted at the time.

1785 he married Jenny Windover (d. 1805). Only one of their children, Windover Fry (1797-1835), survived infancy.

1787 After Joseph Fry's retirement, the new firm, Edmund Fry and Co., issued their first Specimen of Printing Types. It was followed the next year by an enlarged edition. Several founts of the oriental type, which fill twelve pages, were cut by Fry.

1788 the printing business was separated from the foundry and remained at Worship Street as the Cicero Press, under the management of Henry Fry. The foundry moved to premises opposite Bunhill Fields in Chiswell Street and new works erected in a street then called Type Street (now Moore Street).

1794 Fry took Isaac Steele into partnership

1805 His wife died

1807 Fry married Ann Hancock, with whom he had a son, Arthur (1809-1878).

c.1818 The firm became Edmund Fry & Son, on the admission of his son, Windover.

1828 he tried to dispose of the business. It was purchased by William Thorowgood of Fann Street and the stock removed in 1829.

1835 Edmund Fry died at Dalby Terrace, City Road, London, at the age of eighty-one, on 22 December.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography of Edmund Fry, ODNB