The dove ascending breaks the air...
May 15, 2024 11:50 AM   Subscribe

I love that he was just "so I did a quick dive off the bridge into the Thames and found three pieces in twenty minutes". Just there for the finding for a hundred years, but then not really a typical treasure.

The modern reconstructed font for sale is lovely. That weird dotted i sure plays hell with the kerning though.
posted by Nelson at 11:56 AM on May 15 [6 favorites]

If, like me, your eyes bulged at the figure of 500 thousand pieces of type being thrown in the river by just one man, Robert Green helpfully works it out in the video linked in the article. That’s a 170 trips, 12-15 pounds each time. That’s literally a metric ton of type.
posted by Kattullus at 12:08 PM on May 15 [7 favorites]

That's very cool.
"...Time collapsing, as though he had thrown it over the bridge and I reached out my hand a catched it..." lovely way of putting it.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:29 PM on May 15 [4 favorites]

Yay mudlarks!
posted by humbug at 12:31 PM on May 15 [6 favorites]

Gorgeous letter forms, though I can't use them full-time since a few shapes (e.g., zero and capital o) are too similar for these old eyes.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:32 PM on May 15

What a lovely story!
posted by merriment at 12:53 PM on May 15

That's a lot of work to be very very petty and I'm absolutely here for it.
posted by drewbage1847 at 1:02 PM on May 15 [7 favorites]

I'm curious: is there a purpose or anything to the connected c and t in "reconstruction" in the link Nelson posted? Does it have a name? What's the deal?
posted by synecdoche at 1:05 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]

Ligatures! Natural in pen-and-ink, grace notes in electronic typefaces, really showing away in cast ones.
posted by clew at 1:13 PM on May 15 [6 favorites]

I don't think that ligature has a specific name, but c-t ligatures are fairly common in old texts. S-t is another very common one. I believe that, like most ligatures, it's a handwriting convention that arises from writing without lifting the pen from the paper. But maybe someone with more specialist knowledge will weigh in.
posted by Lorc at 1:14 PM on May 15 [5 favorites]

posted by synecdoche at 1:37 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]

Nice piece about other (romantic) Thames jetsam. Also Chapter 2 of Mudlarking by Lara Maiklem is all about the Doves type.
posted by BobTheScientist at 2:29 PM on May 15 [4 favorites]

Previous owners of my suburban childhood garage left a few cases of lead type. Fascinating to single digiter such as myself. I wonder what happened to them. Or how they got there in the first place, for that matter.
posted by BWA at 6:13 AM on May 16 [2 favorites]

So... Thames New Roman, then?
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 1:36 PM on May 17 [9 favorites]

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