Pica Type

. The Rev. E. Mores Rowe, a great literary author and antiquarian, born in Kent in 1729, in his “Dissertation upon English Typographical Founders,” says, “The Pie was a table showing the course of the service in the Church in the times of darkness, and was written in narrow columns of black and red. There were some Friars in England called Friars de Pie, so called from their party-coloured raiment, black and white striped (like the plumage of a magpie). Another definition is from Pie, an old Roman Catholic service-book, so called from the manner of its printing, presenting an appearance like the colours of a magpie.” An old placard of Caxton’s pre­served at Oxford reads thus, “If it please any man spirituelle or temporal to buy any pyes, two or three, let him come to Westminster and he shall have them good and chepe.” The French and Germans call it “Cicero,” so possibly the writings of that philosopher were printed in it.

Taken from Gesta Typographica by Chas. Jacobi, 1897, page 15.

Type Founding in Europe


Long Primer


The first cylinder printing-machine

The first steam printing

Capitals and leads

About the Letters J and W

The Scriptures were first written on skins

The first iron printing-press


Gothic Letters

Type Founding in Europe

Pica Type

Long Primer



Newspapers were first printed

[The Vatican’s Printing Press]


Richard Pynson

Some Numerals

John Gutenberg