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Doolittle, Amos (18 May 1754–31 January 1832), engraver, was born in Cheshire, Connecticut, the son of Ambrose Doolittle and Martha Munson (occupations unknown). Doolittle apprenticed under Eliakim Hitchcock, a silversmith, but he may have taught himself to engrave copper plates. By 1774, he was living in New Haven, where he remained until his death. He appears to have prospered, owning a house and shop on College Street in which he rented out a large room to individuals and organizations, including the Masons, who met there from 1801 to 1826. Doolittle was himself a dedicated Mason from 1792 until his death....

Article

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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Johnston, Thomas (1708?–08 May 1767), engraver, organ builder, and decorative painter, was a prominent . His parentage and place of birth are unknown. Several artists and artisans named Thomas Johnston (or the variant Johnson) were active in eighteenth-century America and England, and early references sometimes confuse them. Nevertheless, his is one of the better-documented careers among craftsmen of colonial Boston....

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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 Though withdrawn from public school at age sixteen to begin his practical education by learning his father’s trade, Nash insisted on becoming a printer.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....

Article

Revere, Paul ( December 1734–10 May 1818), craftsman, patriot, and businessman, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Paul Revere, a goldsmith, and Deborah Hichborn (or Hitchborn). Revere’s father, born Apollos Rivoire, emigrated from France to Boston in 1715 at the age of thirteen and apprenticed with John Coney, a prominent local gold/silversmith. Shortly before his marriage he changed his name, first to Paul Rivoire and then to Paul Revere. The son’s birth date has long been the source of confusion since only his baptismal date, 22 December 1734 OS and 1 January 1735 NS, is recorded. Revere’s early life, fairly typical of boys of his day and economic status, included basic schooling at the North Writing School. During his teens he entered into a formal agreement with fellow North End youths to ring the bells at Christ Church for a fee. Revere’s own words, “My Father was a Goldsmith. … I learned the trade of him,” confirm that as the eldest surviving son, he apprenticed with his father, thus beginning his most enduring occupation. Though overshadowed by the fame of his son, the elder Revere’s skill as a gold/silversmith may actually have equaled that of his son. The younger Revere noted that his father died “in the year 1754, he left no estate, but he left a good name.” Just nineteen years old, Revere ran the shop with the help of his mother. In 1756 he received a commission as a second lieutenant of artillery and spent the better part of a year on an unsuccessful expedition to capture the French fort at Crown Point on Lake Champlain....

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Paul Revere. Drawing by Charles Févret de Saint-Mémin. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-7407).

Article

Tanner, Benjamin (27 March 1775–14 November 1848), engraver, was born in New York City. Little is known of his early life except for his childhood aptitude in drawing, which led to an apprenticeship in his teens to a French engraver in New York named Peter C. Verger. Tanner’s earliest known engravings date from 1792; three years later, while still with Verger, he engraved six folio plates to illustrate Paul Wright’s ...

Article

Updike, Daniel Berkeley (24 February 1860–29 December 1941), book designer and printer, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Caesar Augustus Updike, a lawyer and state representative, and Elisabeth Bigelow Adams. Updike was an only child born into an old and well-connected New England family, but his father’s death in 1877, when Updike was seventeen, prevented his going beyond grammar school in his formal education. Updike’s intellectual and cultural character, however, was molded by his mother, an antiquary and scholar of French and English literature. Updike also came from an Episcopalian background, and his religion greatly influenced both his character and his later work as a printer....