John Baskerville

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For other people named John Baskerville, see John Baskerville (disambiguation). John Baskerville_sentence_0

John Baskerville_table_infobox_0

John BaskervilleJohn Baskerville_header_cell_0_0_0
BornJohn Baskerville_header_cell_0_1_0 28 January 1707 (baptised)

Wolverley, EnglandJohn Baskerville_cell_0_1_1

DiedJohn Baskerville_header_cell_0_2_0 8 January 1775 (age 68)

Easy Hill, Birmingham, EnglandJohn Baskerville_cell_0_2_1

MonumentsJohn Baskerville_header_cell_0_3_0 Industry and GeniusJohn Baskerville_cell_0_3_1
OccupationJohn Baskerville_header_cell_0_4_0 Manufacturer, printer and type designerJohn Baskerville_cell_0_4_1

John Baskerville (baptised 28 January 1707 – 8 January 1775) was an English businessman, in areas including japanning and papier-mâché, but he is best remembered as a printer and type designer. John Baskerville_sentence_1

Life John Baskerville_section_0

Baskerville was born in the village of Wolverley, near Kidderminster in Worcestershire and baptised on 28 January 1706 OS (1707 NS) at Wolverley church. John Baskerville_sentence_2

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). John Baskerville_sentence_3

He practised as a printer in Birmingham, England. John Baskerville_sentence_4

Baskerville was a member of the Royal Society of Arts, and an associate of some of the members of the Lunar Society. John Baskerville_sentence_5

He directed his punchcutter, John Handy, in the design of many typefaces of broadly similar appearance. John Baskerville_sentence_6

In 1757, Baskerville published a remarkable quarto edition of Virgil on wove paper, using his own type. John Baskerville_sentence_7

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. John Baskerville_sentence_8

John Baskerville printed works for the University of Cambridge in 1758 and, although an atheist, printed The Book of Common Prayer in 1762, and a splendid folio Bible in 1763. John Baskerville_sentence_9

His typefaces were greatly admired by Benjamin Franklin, a fellow printer. John Baskerville_sentence_10

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'. John Baskerville_sentence_11

Emigre released a popular revival of this typeface in 1996 called Mrs Eaves, named for Baskerville's wife, Sarah Eaves. John Baskerville_sentence_12

Baskerville's most notable typeface Baskerville represents the peak of transitional type face and bridges the gap between Old Style and Modern type design. John Baskerville_sentence_13

Baskerville also was responsible for significant innovations in printing, paper and ink production. John Baskerville_sentence_14

He worked with paper maker James Whatman to produce a smoother whiter paper which showcased his strong black type. John Baskerville_sentence_15

Baskerville also pioneered a completely new style of typography adding wide margins and leading between each line. John Baskerville_sentence_16

Death and interments John Baskerville_section_1

Baskerville died in January 1775 at his home, Easy Hill. John Baskerville_sentence_17

He requested that his body be placed John Baskerville_sentence_18

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. John Baskerville_sentence_19

Christ Church was demolished in 1897 so his remains were then moved, with other bodies from the crypt, to consecrated catacombs at Warstone Lane Cemetery. John Baskerville_sentence_20

In 1963 a petition was presented to Birmingham City Council requesting that he be reburied in unconsecrated ground according to his wishes. John Baskerville_sentence_21

Commemoration John Baskerville_section_2

In the 1930s, Baskerville House was built on the grounds of Easy Hill. John Baskerville_sentence_22

In 1947, BBC radio broadcast a radio play about his burial, named Hic Jacet: or The Corpse in the Crescent by Neville Brandon Watts. John Baskerville_sentence_23

The original recording was not preserved but a performance was staged by students at the Birmingham School of Acting in 2013 at the Typographic Hub Centre of Birmingham City University. John Baskerville_sentence_24

A copy of the script is in the Norman Painting Archives at the University of Birmingham. John Baskerville_sentence_25

A Portland stone sculpture of the Baskerville typeface, Industry and Genius, in his honour stands in front of Baskerville House in Centenary Square, Birmingham. John Baskerville_sentence_26

It was created by local artist David Patten in 1990. John Baskerville_sentence_27


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John Baskerville.