Thursday, 30 December 2010

The history of digitized fonts and digitizing

Seen in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands.
In case you thought graphical digitizing of characters en symbols started after the introduction of computers, you're wrong.
Cross stitch embroidery showing the digitized characters or fonts of the Latin alphabet and often the digits 0 till 9, along with other decorations and was once a popular pastime for teenage girls.
This custom probably started in the 18th century. Usually the initials of the creator are to be found somewhere on the cloth.
Below are two examples which my mother's got from her ancestors, along with the character set of one of the first commercial available computer.
It's interesting to see how the way of digitizing alphabetic characters and numbers has changed during the centuries:

An example from 1800 with initials D.F.

An example from 1845

An example of the Commodore Pet C64 character set called Petscii from 1976



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