Presentation details
Nineteenth century type founders in Rio de Janeiro

Edna Lucia Cunha Lima

Sunday 16 September | 13:15 – 13:45
Location: Seminar Room 202

Presentation | Theme: Hand made | Duration: 30 minutes

Type foundry began in Brazil in the nineteenth century, when the Portuguese Court moved to in the city of Rio de Janeiro, escaping from the imminent invasion of Portugal by the Napoleon Troops, in 1808.

One of the first acts of the government was the establishment of an official printing press, the Impressão Régia. Two years later, in 1810, the first type foundry to work in the country was created as a section of the Impressão Régia.

In the second quarter of the nineteenth century, new commercial type foundries were opened in Rio de Janeiro. The major part of them under the leadership of French immigrants.These type founders met a cultural milieu favorable to France, with an important French Mission acting in the field of arts and crafts and many bookshops, publishing houses and printing shops own by their fellow citizens.

Some of these type foundries were long lived, staying more than fifty years in the market, and they printed their specimens which made possible for the researcher to evaluate the production and use of types in the period. Such is the case of the Fundidora Francesa, which began with Pierre Secretan in 1848 and was taken by Eugene Bouchaud in 1852, which dominated the market for more than five decades.

In order to study the beginnings of the type foundries in Brazil, an initial list was made by means of the Almanack Laemmert, published annually since 1844 by important French booksellers and publishers living in Rio, the Laemmert brothers. This Almanack listed all the commerce and industry of the city, including type foundries. In their ads the type foundries quoted other activities such as selling printing presses and graphic tools. They show that besides types, they make stereotypes and sell material produced in Europe and the United States.

The research has proved the existence of type foundries in Brazil and is trying to understand how they worked.

This research is undertaken with the support of a scholarship of the Biblioteca Nacional do Rio de Janeiro.

Speaker details

Edna Lucia Cunha Lima PUC-Rio | Brazil

Graduate in Graphic Design and Master in Design by Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro - PUC-Rio, has a Doctor Degree from the School of Communication of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro- ECO/UFRJ. She engaged in higher education as a lecturer in 1979, at the Federal University of Pernambuco. Her articles on design have been published in Brazil and abroad. She wrote about graphic language, printed ephemera, history of typography and commercial lithography. She works as a Graphic Designer since 1970, and in Brazil she was one of the first to work with infographics. Since 1996 she has been an Associated Professor at PUC-Rio, and after 2007 a researcher for the National Library of Rio de Janeiro.

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