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Harry Breuer And His Quintet – Mallet Magic album art

Photo(s) by Bart Solenthaler. Imported from Flickr on Jun 18, 2019. Artwork published in .
Photo by Bob Witt
Source: Uploaded to Flickr by Bart Solenthaler and tagged with “egyptianexpanded”. License: All Rights Reserved.

Photo by Bob Witt

Debut album by American mallet player and Space-age pop percussionist Harry Breuer (1901–1989), released in 1957. According to AllMusic, Mallet Magic is –

a collection of percussion instrumentals recorded for the Audio Fidelity label as a forum for demonstrating stereo technology; that same year he issued a sequel, Mallet Mischief, which was later featured on the cover of the book Incredibly Strange Music, Vol. 1, in the process becoming one of the more sought-after releases among latter-day space-age pop aficionados.


  • Egyptian Expanded
  • Alternate Gothic
  • Longina




Artwork location

2 Comments on “Harry Breuer And His Quintet – Mallet Magic album art”

  1. Type on bars from xylophones and metallophones? I think that’s a first!

    Also, calling Dan Reynolds: The typeface used for “a study in high fidelity sound” is a version of the design known as Longina (among other names), right? It’s not Akzidenz-Grotesk schmalhalbfett aka Standard Medium Condensed, since that version featured a single-storey g.

    You mention that “[t]he design may have originated in Britain, France, or the United States instead, before being imported (or electrotyped illicitly) by German firms.” Seemann lists Schelter & Giesecke’s Schmale halbfette Steinschrift with a “Conners” (Conner’s?) credit. Maybe that’s a lead?

  2. Florian! What a great tip! I had not followed up on the comment in Seemann regarding the origin of Schelter & Giesecke’s Schmale halbfette Steinschrift. But I am lucky enough to be able to do so now.

    A friend of mine had some pages of “James Conner’s Sons, Type Founders, New York” catalogs photographed at the Letterform Archive. He shared them with me on the condition that I not publish them, and the files themselves are not the highest-resolution ever. However, in one of the two catalogs (I alas do not have a date) there is a typeface that seems to match Longina, etc.: Gothic Condensed No. 6. Underneath the typeface name is a line of text reading “Cast from solid copper matrices. Original.” There are 10 sizes, from Long Primer (10pt) to Six Lines Pica (72pt). There are many instances of the “splayed t” in the specimen text, as well as the odd double-storey g. The resolution is not ideal, but the exact skeleton of the double-storey g looks like it varies between sizes, and anyway it does not appear in the sample text of each of the sizes shown.

    This is good enough for me to at least tentitively credit Conner’s Sons as the foundry where this design originated. That is pretty rad, though don’t you think? It means that one style of Akzidenz-Grotesk was born in New York! At least, sort of.

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