Fann Street Foundry
In 1794, Robert Thorne (1754-1820) acquired the type foundry of the late Thomas Cottrell based in Nevil's Court, and moved it to 11 Barbican, and then in 1802 to a former brewery in Fann Street, and renamed it the Fann Street Foundry. On his death in 1820, the business was bought by William Thorowgood with the help of money he had won in a lottery. Thorowgood was the first to use the term "Grotesque" to describe a Sans-Serif typeface and the first to design one in lower case with his Seven Line Grotesque.
Nineteenth century heyday
In 1842, Charles Reed co-founded the firm of Tyler & Reed, printers and typefounders. He became a partner in the Fann Street Foundry in 1861 (which thereafter became known as Reed & Fox). The Fann Street business formed the basis for his own typefounding business, Sir Charles Reed & Sons, which had an office at 33 Aldersgate Street.
In 1881, following his father's death, the author and typefounder, Talbot Baines Reed became head of the Fann Street Foundry. By then he had begun his monumental History of the Old English Letter Foundries, published in 1887, which was hailed as the standard work on the subject. Talbot Baines Reed died in 1893, aged only 41.
Fann Street Foundry closed in 1906, after which its designs passed to the Sheffield-based Stephenson Blake. Founded in 1818, Stephenson Blake was the last active type foundry in the UK at the time of its closure in 2005.
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