wood type_pagechromo

Image File
Print by Wm. H. Page & Co.

Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders, Etc. Manufactured by Wm. H. Page & Co. Greeneville, Ct.: The Co., 1874.
William H. Page (1829–1906), worked while young as a wood type finisher at manufacturer John Cooley’s shop. He later bought out another firm’s machinery and expanded by the 1860s to be the country’s chief producer of wood type. Intense competition through the mid-1880s
with J. E. Hamilton’s cheaper veneered types sent Page’s market share into decline. He sold his business to the Hamilton Company in 1891.


Page’s firm had a great catalog of original character designs, intricate borders, and tint blocks cut with exacting precision. The company can be credited with printing possibly the most beautiful color wood type specimen ever, a page of which is on view here. Each plate in this
book is letterpress printed with several colors, showing the versatility of color blends imaginable with Page products. The specimen of some 100 pages was produced in a small edition since the market for chromatic wood type was very limited. The Cary Collection’s Page Chromatic Specimen is one of only a handful of known copies in the U.S., among those at Columbia University, the Newberry Library, the Boston Athenaeum, and Harvard’s Houghton Library.