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PIERRE SIMON FOURNIER (1712-1768)

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Originally appearing in Volume V10, Page 759 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PIERRE SIMON FOURNIER (1712-1768), French engraver and typefounder, was horn at Paris on the 15th of September 17 t s. Ile was the son of a printer, and was brought up to his father's business. After studying drawing under the painter Colson, he practised for some time the art of wood-engraving, and ultimately turned his attention to the engraving and casting of types. Ile designed many new characters, and his foundry became celebrated not only in France, but in foreign countries. Not content with his practical achievements, he sought to stimulate public interest in his art by the production of various works on the subject. In 1737 he published his Table des proportions qu'il faut observer entre les caracteres, which was followed by several other technical treatises. In 1758 he assailed the title of Gutenberg to the honour awarded him as inventor of printing, claiming it for Schoffer, in his Dissertation sur l'origine et les progres de fart de graver en bois. This gave rise to a controversy in which Schopflin and Baer were his opponents. Fournier's contributions to this debate were collected and re-printed under the title of Traites historiques et critiques sur l'origine de l'imprimerie. His principal work, however, was the Manuel typographique, which appeared in 2 vols. 8vo in 1764, the first volume treating of engraving and type-founding, the second of printing, with examples of different alphabets. It was the author's design to complete the work in four volumes, but he did not live to execute it. He died at Paris on the 8th of October 1768.
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