For other people named John Baskerville, see John Baskerville (disambiguation).
|Born||28 January 1707 (baptised)
|Died||8 January 1775 (age 68)
Easy Hill, Birmingham, England
|Monuments||Industry and Genius|
|Occupation||Manufacturer, printer and type designer|
Baskerville established an early career teaching handwriting and is known to have offered his services cutting gravestones (a demonstration slab by him survives in the Library of Birmingham) before making a considerable fortune from the manufacture of lacquerwork items (japanning).
He practised as a printer in Birmingham, England.
It took three years to complete, but it made such an impact that he was appointed printer to the University of Cambridge the following year.
His typefaces were greatly admired by Benjamin Franklin, a fellow printer.
Baskerville's work was criticised by jealous competitors and soon fell out of favour, but since the 1920s many new fonts have been released by Linotype, Monotype, and other type foundries – revivals of his work and mostly called 'Baskerville'.
Baskerville also was responsible for significant innovations in printing, paper and ink production.
He worked with paper maker James Whatman to produce a smoother whiter paper which showcased his strong black type.
Baskerville also pioneered a completely new style of typography adding wide margins and leading between each line.
Death and interments
Baskerville died in January 1775 at his home, Easy Hill.
He requested that his body be placed
However, in 1821 a canal was built through the land and his body was placed on show by the landowner until Baskerville's family and friends arranged to have it moved to the crypt of Christ Church, Birmingham.
In 1963 a petition was presented to Birmingham City Council requesting that he be reburied in unconsecrated ground according to his wishes.
In the 1930s, Baskerville House was built on the grounds of Easy Hill.
In 1947, BBC radio broadcast a radio play about his burial, named Hic Jacet: or The Corpse in the Crescent by Neville Brandon Watts.
It was created by local artist David Patten in 1990.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John Baskerville.