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.
* TYPOGRAPHY – An Encyclopedic Survey of Type Design and Techniques Throughout History by Friedrich Friedl, Nicolaus Ott (Editor), Bernard Stein, published by Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft mbH.
Fonts from the Linotype Library based on the original Caslon typeface: