Frederick Thomas Wimble (1846-1936) arrived in the colony of Victoria on 29 July 1867. He quickly established a reputation as a printing ink manufacturer being well equipped with technical knowledge and ink recipes supplied by his father in London. A con-summate salesman and publicist, Wimble went on the road to promote his products and quickly built up a list of return clients in all of the Australian States and New Zealand. Wimble’s Monthly Reminder, which appeared in two series commencing with Series One in 1895 and Series Two in 1906, reinforced the perception in the trade of the reliability of the firm as a supplier of printers’ needs. When a significant anniversary occurred the history of the firm, with variations, was retold of FT Wimble and Co’s rise to success.
The Australasian Type Foundry was added to the other branches of the business in 1900, when it was purchased from Henry James Thitchener, the last in a line of type founders active in Sydney since 1841.
Fred Wimble modernised the practices of the earlier firm, introducing the American point-line system of uniform type measurement and duplicated the standardisation of point sizes (usually from 6pt to 72pt) and endeavoured to put an Australasian stamp on on the fonts by renaming the original English and American designs by giving them Australian and New Zealand place names. There were several notable exceptions to this plan. In 1902 the Federal Government introduced a broad tariff on imports and Wimble as a fierce protectionist, an ex-newspaper proprietor of the Cairns Post in North Queensland and briefly a Queensland Member of Parliament campaigned continuously for tariff protection for Australian made type.
To reward two parliamentarians who had supported him he renamed the American Type Founders ‘Globe Gothic’ as Findlay Extra Bold for Senator Edward Findlay and American Type Founders ‘Florentine Bold’ as Carr Bold for Ernest Shoobridge Carr, MHR. During World War One another American Type Founders type ‘Old English’ was opportunistically renamed Anzac Text, by as the Returned Servicemen’s were violently opposed to any misuse of the word Anzac the name of the font was changed to Austral Text. Amongst the ornaments, rules and initial letters cast in Wimble’s foundry is a curiosity that appears to be a local design, but no mention of the designer’s name is made. This is the Wallerain Initials, the name of which seems to have some nostalgic connection with an obscure Queensland gold-mining town called Walleraine.
Very little research has been done on Wimble’s Type Foundry for the simple reason that very few records appear to have survived. The list below is incomplete and will no doubt be added to in time.