Before William Caslon
(born in 1692) cut his first typeface, he had run a successful London engraving workshop. It specialised in the decoration of weapons, which also called for lettering when the name of the rifle owner was to be engraved on the barrel.
Through cutting embossing punches for two nearby bookbinders, Caslon
soon came into contact with the graphics trade, and eventually the bookbinder John Watts
commissioned Caslon to cut type for his bindings.
In 1725, William Caslon opened his own type foundry. Soon, England’s most important printers had learned to appreciate the high quality of his typefaces. And thanks to Caslon they were no longer dependent on imports from the Dutch type founders who dominated the market at the time.
In 1737, Caslon moved to the famous London Chiswell Street Foundry
, from where his son and several subsequent generations continued to run the family business for another 120 years.