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William Caslon

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William Caslon I:

William Caslon I – born 1692 in Cradley, Worcestershire, England, died 1766 in Bethnal Green, England – engraver, type founder, type designer.


  • 1706: Begins a seven-year apprenticeship as an engraver with a London harness-maker.
  • 1716: Self-employed engraver.
  • 1721: the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge commissions Caslon to cast Arabic alphabets.
  • 1725: Sets up his own type foundry.
  • 1734: Caslon’s first one-page specimen is produced which illustrates 47 of his typefaces.
  • 1737: The type foundry moves to Chiswell Street in London, where it continues to operate for 200 years.

William Caslon II:

William Caslon II – born 1720, died 1778 – type founder, type designer.

  • 1742: Joins his father’s company.
  • 1763: Father and son issue the first English book of type specimens, which includes 56 alphabets by Caslon senior and 27 by his son, designed between 1738 and 1763.
  • 1766: After the death of his father, Caslon junior runs the family business until 1778.

William Caslon III:

William Caslon III – born 1754, died 1833 – type founder.

  • Caslon III sold his share of the business to his mother and daugther-in-law and used the money to buy the Jackson type foundry, The type foundry remained the property of the Caslon family until 1795.

William Caslon IV:

William Caslon IV – born 1780, died 1869 – type founder.

  • 1807: Caslon IV takes over the running of the type foundry until 1819, when the foundry is bought by Blake, Garnett Co.
  • 1837: The type foundry, still under the name of Caslon, becomes the property of the Stephenson, Blake Co. type foundry in Sheffield.

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