Edward Rondthaler AUG 31 2009
The intentional misspelling in the headline caught my eye: Edward Rondthaler, Foenetic Speler, Dies at 104. Turns out that Mr. Rondthaler was quite a fellow. He was a pioneer in the field of phototypesetting, cofounded the International Typeface Corporation & the Type Directors Club, and was a advocate of a phonetic spelling system called SoundSpel. Rondthaler's fascination with letters began at an early age:
At 5, Edward received a toy printing press as a gift and began publishing his own newspaper. (It was a very small newspaper, about the size of a postcard, his son said.) Only a few years later, he and a friend opened a print shop in a nearby basement, doing jobs for paying customers; they ran the business through high school and for a year afterward, to earn college money.
Rest easy, Mr. Rondthaler.
Update: A few years back, Rondthaler did a charming video on the pronunciation complexities of seemingly simple words for House Industries, a type company that owns the physical assets of Rondthaler's company, Photo-Lettering, Inc.