Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Edmund Fry and Co

From Graces Guide

1787 After Joseph Fry's retirement, his typefounding and printing business became Edmund Fry and Co.

They issued their first Specimen of Printing Types.

1788 An enlarged edition of the Specimen was issued. 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).

1789 The Type Street foundry supplied the type for Millar Ritchie's edition of Homer's classics (1789–94).

1793 Edmund Fry & Co., letter founders to the prince of Wales, produced a "Specimen of Metal-Cast Ornaments Curiously Adjusted to Paper", which gained vogue among printers.

1794 Edmund Fry took Isaac Steele into partnership, and published a Specimen which showed a marked advance on its predecessors.

1799 Fry circulated a prospectus of the great work on which he had been occupied for sixteen years, published as Pantographia, containing accurate copies of all the known alphabets of the world, together with an English explanation of the peculiar force and power of each letter, to which are added specimens of all well-authenticated oral languages, forming a comprehensive digest of phonology. Many of the characters were expressly cut by Fry for his book.

1799 George Knowles became a partner, the firm taking the name of Fry, Steele, & Co; it started to sell printing presses

1800 Fry took back the management of the business into his own hands.

A catalogue, Fry and Steele's Specimen of Printing Types, was bound in with the ‘Printing’ article in Rees's Cyclopaedia (vol. 28, pt 2, published 16 September 1814).

1816 a Specimen of Printing Types by Edmund Fry, Letter Founder to the King and Prince Regent, was published.

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

Fry cut several founts of oriental types for the University of Cambridge, the British and Foreign Bible Society, and other bodies. In a Specimen printed in 1824 the name was changed back to "Edmund Fry at the Polyglot Foundry".

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

1833 Produced typefaces for the blind.

Some Fry type-designs continued in use despite the amalgamations since then. Fry's Baskerville, Fry's Canon, and Fry's Ornamented were sometimes used in the 1920s and 30s by discerning printers of fine books, and a version of the Fry's Baskerville has been successfully translated for computer typesetting.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  • Biography of Edmund Fry, ODNB