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Goudy, Frederic William (18 March 1865–11 May 1947), typographer and printer, was born in Bloomington, Illinois, the son of John Fleming Goudy, a real estate broker, and Amanda Melvina Truesdell. The family moved to Shelbyville, Illinois, where, when he was sixteen, he received a commission to paste Bible verses to a classroom wall. He designed and cut some three thousand letters himself. In 1884 his family moved to Highmore, South Dakota (then part of the Dakota Territory), where his father was appointed federal probate judge. In 1888, after an attempt to establish a loan and mortgage company, Goudy moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to work as a bookkeeper for a department store. A year later he moved to Springfield, Illinois, but soon decided to return to South Dakota. As it happened he ventured no further than Chicago, Illinois....

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Nash, John Henry (12 March 1871–24 May 1947), printer, bibliophile, and typographer, was born in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, the son of John Marvin Nash, a mechanical engineer, and Catherine Cain. Though withdrawn from public school at age sixteen to begin his practical education by learning his father’s trade, Nash insisted on becoming a printer. He began his career in 1888 with an apprenticeship at James Murray and Company, a Toronto printing firm. Despite his thorough training and seeming determination to become a printer, Nash left the business after a few years and embarked on the life of a bicycle racer. A major fad in the 1890s, bicycle racing offered the opportunity for wealth and fame, and both appealed to him. He traveled the racing circuit from around 1890 to 1892, when his passion for the sport waned and he decided to go back to printing. Nash returned to Toronto to work for Brough and Caswell and then for Milne-Burgham Company, where he remained until 1894. In the winter of 1894 he left Toronto to work for App-Stotts in Denver, Colorado; he stayed there a mere four months, after which he relocated to San Francisco....

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Ruzicka, Rudolph (29 June 1883–20 July 1978), artist, typographer, and author, was born in Kourim in central Bohemia, the son of Václav Ruzicka, a tailor, and Josefa Reichman. Accompanying his parents to the United States in 1894, he settled in Chicago, where he completed seven grades of public school in three years while at the same time learning to speak English. He then left in 1897 to begin an apprenticeship at the Franklin Engraving Company, where he learned to engrave on wood and to work a Washington hand press. In subsequent employment in other firms, Ruzicka learned the electrotype and photogravure processes while studying art at Hull-House and the Art Institute of Chicago....