Obituary Details

Chauncey "Dick" Hawley Griffith

(11/30/1878 - 10/07/1956)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 10/11/1956

Brother of James B. Griffith Dies In New York Sunday

Chauncey H. (Dick) Griffith, 78, of New York City and brother of James B. Griffith, Sr. of Lusk, died in New York Sunday morning. Services are being held in Lexington, Ky. this Thursday morning.

Although it is doubtful if a single person outside his relatives in Niobrara county ever heard of Mr. Griffith, it is a safe supposition that every English reading person in the world and many readers of foreign languages have viewed his works.

Mr. Griffith was a vice president of the Mergenhaler Linotype Co. in charge of typographical development. The total production of faces and point sizes of type of all kinds produced under his direction from 1916 to 1951, when he retired, was estimated to exceed 1500 alphabets in addition to hundreds of thousands of special characters, decorative units, mathematical and scientific characters of every description. This news story, just as all the body of The Lusk Herald, is set in Times Roman, one of the last type styles drawn and cut under his direction. Every telephone user views one of his works every time a number is looked up for he developed Bell Gothic especially for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company.

Outstanding among his achievements, "The American Printer" magazine says, was that of "reducing the 1500-character Hindustani alphabet to thh Linotype (typesetting machine) keyboard without sacrificing traditional attributes."

For this signal service Mr. Griffith was decorated by Mahatma Gandi of India. The magazine further said "Griff has a canny eye for international alphabets, organizes common and uncommon denominators, establishes a tight nucleus of fundamentals about which play another alphabet of inflections."

Chauncey Hawley Griffith was born in Ironton, Ohio in 1879. In 1895 he started his apprenticeship as a printer. By 1899 he was an accomplished linotype operator. In 1906 he relinquished an $80 a week job for a $25 a week job with a future. After traveling for a number of years as a salesman and special representative of Mergenthaler Linotype Company, he was called to Linotype headquarters in 1915, made special assistant to the president, and placed in charge of type design and manufacture. In 1936 he was made vice president in charge of typographic development, the position he held until his retirement.

He is survived by his wife, two brothers: James B. of Lusk, and Charles of Pasco, Wash.

James B. Griffith left Lusk Sunday to attend the services.

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