Plainfield Garden Club








Member: Benton, Mrs. Morris Fuller (Katrina Ten Eck Wheeler) '33

1934 Treasurer Book: Mrs. Morris Benton 1/9/31 PAID
Treasurer Book, Active: 1935, 1936, 1937

1938 Treasurer Book, Active: Mrs. Morris F. Benton 1/8/38 Pd. 1/25/39 Pd.

1940 Treasurer Book, Active: Mrs. Morris F. Benton 3/27/40 Pd 3/19/41 Pd 12/2/41 Pd. 12/14/42 Pd. 12/14/43 Pd. 12/5/44 Pd. 12/4/45 6/12/46 June 2, 1947 June 4, 1948 June 8, 1949 May 29, 1950 May 1951 June 1952

1942 Address: Long Hill Road, Millington

1950 - 1951 Treasurer Book: Scrap piece of paper found with this notation "Mrs. Benton 1103 Kensington Ave."

1953 Address: 1100 Kensington Avenue

1958 Address: 1223 Prospect

1960 Address: 725 Park Avenue, Plainfield

1970 Address: 755 Park Avenue

107 Crescent Avenue

June 2011: 725 Park Avenue listed "does not exist"

Morris Fuller Benton and his father Linn Boyd Benton

Online article excerpt:


A few months after Morris graduated from Cornell, he became his father's assistant at. He designed machines and began to learn about typefaces. On September1,1887, after a three- year engagement, Morris Benton married Ethel Bottum, the daughter of Boyd's patent attorney.
The young couple took up residence in a small, somewhat dingy apartment on Staten Is- land, ten blocks away from the senior Bentons. Each morning, Morris and his father would meet and take the ferry to New York City. The foundry was at that time on the southernmost tip of Manhattan. Ethel was alone all day, and when her first daughter, Elizabeth Boyd, was born the following year, she became terribly lonesome. Caroline explained, ‘‘She didn't know anybody, not a soul, on Staten Island.'' Shortly after the baby's birth, the young family moved in with Boyd and Jessie, who had recently bought a large Victorian house at Central Avenue in Thompkinsville, Staten Island. Another daugh- ter, Caroline, was born in   (fig.). The two families lived together on Staten Island for nine years.
After moved to Communipaw Avenue in Jersey City, N.J., in, Boyd and Morris de- cided to leave Staten Island and move closer to the company. They eventually chose Plainfield, N.J., for its schools and because it was famous for its clean artesian well water. In 1906 Boyd rented a home for the whole family, a large Vic- torian house at131 Crescent Avenue. About two years later he bought a house with three and a half acres of lawn and gardens at 107 Crescent Avenue (fig.). Boyd had always wanted a large family, and both he and Jessie were pleased with the three-generation arrangement (fig.).
Morris's interest in hobbies was as keen as ever. He took color photographs and developed them in his own darkroom on the third floor of the new house. The darkroom contained a work table and a lathe, as well as equipment for exper- imenting with stereotypes. Morris also amused himself with target shooting, though he did not care for hunting. He had inherited a collection of some fourteen guns from his father-in-law, and he belonged to a local gun club. He kept his guns, target records, and ammunition locked in his darkroom. Morris kept the guns oiled and cleaned, and later taught his daughters how to shoot at tin cans. The children had toy pan- tographs and Morris once electrified a mechan- ical train for them, before electric trains were readily available.
Music was an important feature of family life in the Benton household, and both of Morris's daughters were encouraged to study the piano. Very much like his father, who expected perfec- tion from mechanical parts, Morris often re- tuned the piano after the regular piano tuner had left the house. Caroline recalled that ‘‘he had the theory that every individual piano had cer- tain tonal areas which needed to be balanced with extra care in the tuning.''
He owned an Edison phonograph and, later, a Victrola, and loved to listen to Enrico Caruso and most classical music, except Brahms. He also owned an Aeolian Orchestrelle, a pump or- gan with stops that Benton would manipulate to get the tone he wanted, while the paper roll took care of the notes. His daughter Elizabeth re- membered: ‘‘He used to play Tannhauser, and my little bed upstairs would rock!''
Morris was a patient man, and explained things carefully to his daughters. He drew dia- grams on the paper tablecloth after dinner to il- lustrate points he was making and, when the table was set with good linen, would use the salt and pepper shakers to represent in simple terms some complex piece of machinery.
Both Morris and Ethel loved the outdoors.

About the time that Morris Benton's great Century Schoolbook typeface was making its debut, he endured a personal tragedy that made him even more reticent. On March 17, 1920, his wife Ethel died suddenly of an infection after an operation. She was only forty-two years old, and her death was a shock to the family. Shortly after Ethel's death, Morris shared some thoughts with Caroline. ‘‘[He said that] life divided itself up into compartments, and they didn't necessarily follow through, they cut off,. . . . He just felt that one [had] ended, and he was very, I wouldn't say that he was philosophical, but he did accept the fact that the facts were the facts. He had to make a new life.''
In 1923, Morris married Katrina Ten Eck Wheeler, his second cousin on his father's side of the family. She was thirty-one at the time, twenty years younger than Morris. They moved out of the big white house in Plainfield to an apartment about half a block away and re- mained there for seven years. In the mid-1920's Morris's health suffered again with the onset of serious stomach ulcers, ‘‘which probably [were caused by] coping with Grandpa,'' Caroline explained, ‘‘because Grand- pa wasn't as sweet and lovable as he had been when he was younger.'' The added pressures at work also took their toll. ‘‘If things didn't go right at the foundry, then he [Morris] was the one that had to straighten them out,'' Caroline explained, and there were times when he was so tired, he would just have bread and milk for supper.

After his mother died, Morris and Katrina moved back to the big white house with Boyd. The two men continued to go to work together every day. Caroline recalled, ‘‘Papa said, [Boyd would come into the foundry and all hell would break loose everything had to be just so. . . . That's the trouble when you work 'til you're88, you know, somebody has to help you. And you know who did it.'' But Caroline stressed that Morris remained ‘‘very patient with his father, and very sweet.''
Linn Boyd Benton retired from his position as manager of's general manufacturing depart- ment on July1,1932. He died suddenly on July15 of a cerebral hemorrhage.

In 1939, after Jessie and Linn Boyd Benton had been dead for several years, Morris and Katrina bought a house on Long Hill Road in Milling- ton, N.J., about six miles from Plainfield, and sold the "White Elephant." Their new house in- cluded a large landscaped area on a slope and a lovely view on three sides. Morris loved the Long Hill Road house since, according to his daughter Caroline, it was the one home he could truly call his own. Though advised by his doctor that his recurrent ulcers required treatment and possibly surgery, Morris nevertheless resisted exposing himself to the same risk that had taken his first wife.
Morris enjoyed the remaining nine years of his life, spending summer vacations at a cottage on Beaver Lake, N.J. Like his father, he offered political advice, cautioning daughter Caroline t

107 Crescent Avenue, Plainfield

1915-1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

1915-1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

1915-1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

1915-1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

1915-1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

Morris Fuller Benton

Morris Fuller Benton (November 30, 1872 – June 30, 1948) was an influential American typeface designer who headed the design department of the American Type Founders (ATF), for which he was the chief type designer from 1900 to 1937. Benton was America's most prolific type designer, having completed 221 typefaces, ranging from revivals of historical models like ATF Bodoni, to adding new weights to existing faces such as Goudy Old Style and Cheltenham, and to designing original designs such as Hobo, Bank Gothic, and Broadway. Benton's large family of related neogrotesque sans-serif typefaces, known as "gothics" as was the norm at the time, includes Alternate Gothic, Franklin Gothic, and News Gothic. All were more similar to, and better anticipated, later realist sans-serif typefaces such as Helvetica than did the other early grotesque types of his contemporaries.

In addition to his strong aesthetic design sense, Morris was a master of the technology of his day. His father, Linn Boyd Benton, invented the pantographic engraving machine, which was capable not only of scaling a single font design pattern to a variety of sizes, but could also condense, extend, and slant the design (mathematically, these are cases of affine transformation, which is the fundamental geometric operation of most systems of digital typography today, including PostScript). Morris worked on many of these machines with his father at ATF, during which these machines were refined to an impressive level of precision.

Theo Rehak, the current owner of most ATF equipment and author of the definitive treatise "Practical Typecasting", explains that the Bentons demanded that any deviation in machining or casting be within two ten thousands of an inch.[1] Most modern machine shops are equipped to measure down to a one thousandth inch variance. As an advertising device, in 1922 ATF manufactured a piece of type eight points tall containing the entire Lord's Prayer in 13 lines of text, using a cutting tool roughly equivalent to a 2000 dpi printer.

May 17, 1957 Club Commemorates Founding of Iris Garden

Caption: GARDEN MARKER VIEWED – Standing before the marker commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Iris Garden in Cedar Brook Park are (left to right) Mrs. Frederick Lockwood, Victor B. King, Jr., John C. Wister, Mr. Richard Tracy and Miss Harriette R. Halloway, founder of this garden. (Courier photo by E. T. Wiggins)

The Plainfield Garden Club and guests yersterday dedicated the the entranceway of the of the Iris Garden in Cedar Brook Park.

Miss Harriette R. Halloway, found of the garden and chairman of the garden of the Iris Garden [not legible] the project was started in 1932, was presented a medal by Mrs. Frederick M. Lockwood, president of the Garden Club.

The medal is [not legible] "from the grateful members of the Plainfield Garden Club Harriette R. Halloway founder and director of the Iris gardens of Cedar Brook Park, Plainfield, 1932 - 1957."

[Not legible] viewed a recently installed [not legible] tablet marking the anniversary of the garden.

"Excercise in Perfection"
Victor R. King, president of the Union County Park Commission, led the gathering [not legible] the garden display was "an excercise in perfection is [not legible]," he said.

The park commission provides the setting for the garden and have [not legible] in the project [not legible]

W. [not legible] Tracy, executive had of the Park Commission when the Iris Garden was started paid tribute to Miss Halloway for her "tireless work and painstaking effort."

Another speaker was Dr. John C. Wister of Swarthmore, Pa., president of the American Iris Society when the garden was started and author of [not legible] article about the garden in the current issue of the Journal of the New York Botanical Gardens.

Miss Halloway spoke briefly and [not legible] on the work of the [not legible] who care for the Iris Garden. She introduced Kenneth Smith, one of the largest contributors of plants to the garden [not legible]

Mrs. Lockwood presided at the program. Guests included members of [not legible] garden clubs and contributors to the garden.

The Iris Garden Committee includes Mrs. Morris E. Benton, Mrs. Alden de Hart, Mrs. Lockwood, Mrs. Donald E. Luce, Mrs. William K. Dunbar, Jr., Mrs. C. Northrop Pond, Mrs. Webster Sandford, Mrs. Arthur D. Seybold, Mrs. John R. Wells, Mrs. Willian G. Wigton, Mrs. Robert MacLeod, vice chairman, and Miss Halloway, chairman.

Special slides [not legible] for the chairman were Mrs. Charles A. Eaton, Jr., Mrs. F. Willoughby Frost ad Mrs. Edwin M. Treat, Jr.

Mrs. Victor M. King was chairman of the special committee assisted by Mrs. J. Harold Loizeaux, Mrs. E. B. Newberry, and Miss Margaret Tyler. Also cooperating were Mrs. N. C. Barnhart, Jr., Mrs. William P. Elliott, Mrs. Homer Cochran and Mrs. H. I. Flanders.

Hostesses (not legible)
Other hostesses were Mrs. William W. Coriell, Mrs. Leslie E. Fort, Mrs. William A. Holliday, Mrs. Richard M. Lawton, Mrs. Robert T. Stevens, Mrs. C. Boardman Tyler, Mrs. William S. Tyler. Mrs. Thomas Van Boskerck and Mrs. Orville G. Waring.

The Iris Garden now has more than 1,800 named varieties properly labeled, representing all types of Iris and totaling more than 75,000 plants.

The main part of the garden is [not legible] caring Iris [not legible] and is expected to be is good blooms thorugh the rest of the month.

The Bentons: How an American father and son changed the printing industry

Smithsonian Archives
http://siris-libraries.si.edu/ipac20/ipac.jsp?&profile=all&source=~!silibraries&uri=full=3100001~!960699~!0#focus

The Bentons : how an American father and son changed the printing industry / / Patricia A. Cost.



Author: Cost, Patricia.

Title: The Bentons : how an American father and son changed the printing industry / / Patricia A. Cost.

Publisher: Rochester, N.Y. : RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press, c2011.

Description: xxi, 372 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.

Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.

Contents: Metal type – Three generations of Bentons – The North-Western Type Foundry – Challenges and solutions – The development of Benton's punch-cutting machine, and how it made the linotype a success – The formation of the American Type Founders Company – Linn Boyd Benton and the century type – An overview of Linn Boyd Benton's patented inventions – Morris Benton at ATF – How type was made at ATF – The Benton family's early years in Plainfield, New Jersey – Prosperity and hard times – The typographic climate in the early twentieth century – Morris Benton's type designs – The later Plainfield years – The Benton legacy.

Subject: Benton, Linn Boyd, 1844-1932.
Benton, Morris Fuller.
American Type Founders Company – History.
Type designers – United States – Biography.
Type and type-founding – United States – History.

Catalog Source No.: (OCoLC)ocn611963478

ISBN: 9781933360423 (alk. paper)
1933360429 (alk. paper)

1209 Prospect Avenue

Plainfield Public Library
Detwiller Archives

Collection Detwiller
Title Residence for Mrs. Morris F. Benton
Description Plans and elevations for conversion of a garage into a residence and erection of a new garage.
Building Type Residence
Work Type New Building
Elevation Yes
Condition Acceptable

Blueprint ID D-10015
Permit NOP1121
Year of Permit 1954
Microfilm Roll 0216
Microfilm Frame 0208
Condition 1003
Address 1209 Prospect Ave
Historic District
City Plainfield
Architect Charles Detwiller, Jr.
Architect Firm Charles H. Detwiller, Jr.
Owner Mrs. Morris Benton
Business Owner

1970 Archives

http://plainfieldgardenclub.org/cgi-bin/p/awtp-showpic-pa.cgi?d=1754&s=45041

Note from Corresponding Secretary Pauline Heely:

Also we had a death of one of our members in July - she is Mrs. Morris F. Benton, 755 Park Avenu - Plainfield

Plainfield Public Library Archive

1954

GARDEN CLUB TO HOLD FAIR – Mrs. Webster Sandford, special events chairman, sets marker for display of the Plainfield Garden Club Fair May 14-15 at Crescent and Park Aves. Looking on (left to right) are Mrs. Edward H. Ladd, windowbox arrangements; Mrs. H. I. Flanders, plant materical chairman; Mrs. Victor King, club president, and Mrs. Morris F. Benton, fair chairman.

1953 Check Book

No. 1003
March 31, 1953
Mrs. Morris Benton
Annual Meeting registration
$60.00

1954 Check Book

No. 1093
May 21, 1954
Katrina T. Benton
?? for sign for gair (laggrens)
$15.00

No. 1094
May 21, 1954
G. W. Cochran
3 rope mats - wholesale price
$25. 05

No. 1095
May 21, 1954
Henry Kitz ???
Scotch Plains
??? for wildflower garden
$72.00

1957 Check Book

Note in Margin (February 27, 1957 - APril 2, 1957)

March 14 Deposit
Katrina T. Benton
reimbursement for
recital– ?? A.F. Club
meeting
$51.00

1957 Check Book

Note in margin:

Katrina Benton
toward planting
at W.Y.C.A. $25.00

1959 Check Book

No. 1342
Jan. 20, 1959
Harriette Halloway
iris book
$6.50

No. 1343
Jan. 20, 1959
Katrina Benton
open house (exp)
$32.30

No. 1344
Jan. 28. 1959
Myou Kistler
open house pictures
$20.00

Residence and Grounds of Linn Boyd Benton, 107 Crescent Avenue

In this illustrated book, the Courier-News has sought to present some of the representative homes of The Plainfields and adjoining territory, together with such other buildings of interest and importance as would serve to convey an idea of the physical attractioins of one of the most beautiful and healthful cities in the Metropolitan District. The homes reflect the desirability of this community as a place of residence.

The churches, schools, clubs and public buildings pictured serve to give the stranger some conceptions of the beauty of the city and its right to be termed the "Queen City" of New Jersey.

With picturesque Watchung Hills as a background, this section with all its natural advantages, plus a progressive spirit, coupled with high class local governing bodies and a live Chamber of Commerce, is pecularily adapted for home sites and, as a result, it has enjoyed a steady and healthy growth for many years.


publication circa 1917

Residence and Grounds of Linn Boyd Benton, 107 Crescent Avenue

107 Crescent Avenue

Rent includes heat, hot water, water, trash removal, maintenance of common area, snow removal. Parking in driveway for one vehicle. Maximum 4 people in this unit. Older historic building featuresrooms with high ceilings - large windows - wood floors - available immediately. Tenant to provide refrigerator. Non-working fireplace. – Updated : 2012-07-08

Not for Sale
Zestimate: $163,542
Rent Zestimate: $1,149/mo
Est. Mortgage:
$575/mo
See current rates on Zillow

Bedrooms:2 beds
Bathrooms:1.0 bath

107 Crescent Avenue

107 Crescent Avenue

107 Crescent Avenue

107 Crescent Avenue

107 Crescent Avenue

107 Crescent Avenue

107 Crescent Avenue

107 Crescent Avenue

107 Crescent Avenue

107 Crescent Avenue

1936 - 1937 Meeting Minutes

1938-1939 Meeting Minutes

Crescent Avenue Historic District

Crescent Area Historic District

Post Office: Plainfiled
Zip: 07060

WHAT'S NEAR
Hillside Avenue Historic District
Van Wyck Brooks Historic District

The Crescent Area Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Portions of the text below were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2013, The Gombach Group.

Prior to the arrival of the white man, the Lenni-Lenape Indians, part of the Algonquin Tribe, lived in this area of New Jersey. The Ice Age had endowed this area with a protective terrain, productive farmlands and forests and "wonderful pure air and springs." Indian trails became the highways and streets still in use in Plainfield today.Watchung Avenue located in the heart of the Crescent Area Historic District was once one of those trails. Remains of an Indian village and burial grounds have been found in the locality of First, Second and Third Place which are within the boundaries of the Crescent Avenue Historic District.

The first white settlers from Scotland and Holland arrived in the area in the 1680's. The first permanent settler was Thomas Gordon whose home was on Cedarbrook Road adjacent to Crescent Avenue, and whose land holdings covered most of what is present-day Plainfield. The enthusiastic letters back home detailing the healthful climate, plentiful game, fish and fowl, good soil and water brought other settlers to New Jersey, in spite of the "Flee by the salt marshes, most troublesome in the summer." These elements continued through the years to attract new residents.

During the Revolutionary War, patriots from area families served in militia regiments as foot soldiers and officers. An important battle, the Battle of the Short Hills, was fought in the area in June of 1777 and was instrumental in repelling the British in New Jersey. Some of the homes of those who supported the cause of the Revolution still exist today: The Drake House Museum, where Washington rested and briefed his officers, and the Vermule Homestead, where the officers were quartered.
Following the war, industry and transportation began to grow and take on added importance, contributing to the economic prosperity. Plainfield became officially recognized on April 1, 1800 with a population of 215. The Gordon Gazetteer in 1834 gave a glowing account of all the rich resources in Plainfield and noted that "the society is moral and religious."

It was in Plainfield in 1847 that the model for the public school system for the state was devised. Through the efforts of Dr. Charles H. Stillman, Plainfield physician, the New Jersey Legislature empowered the city to raise money by taxation in order to establish a public school system. An account of the day declares, "No one can measure the effect of this enlightened policy in extending the fame of the city and building up its prosperity." Many of the people who were active in education and cultural activities lived within the bounds of the Crescent Area Historic District.

The most influential force to the development of Plainfield was the railroad, which brought about a change in the social and economic character of the town. When a direct connection was made between Plainfield and New York City, c.1850, Plainfield became a commuter town.

During the Civil War, many local residents were involved in the fighting. General Sterling, a general on McCleland's staff, built his home and settled on First Place after the War.

Job Male, a philanthropist, who became known as "Plainfield's Grand Old Man", settled in Plainfield in 1867, following the Civil War. An inventor, he had simplified the loading of ferry slips with a patented leveling device. He purchased with Evan Jones, twenty four acres of land "in the suburbs and laid it out in village lots and streets and erected twenty substantial residences of fine architectural design, drawing the plans for them all himself." He was his own contractor and owned a greater part of the land that includes Crescent Avenue and Watchung Avenue. He designed a particularly distinctive style of architecture "stucco-walled, Mansard roofed, still standing today." He continued to build homes in different parts of the city until his possessions included more than one hundred Plainfield houses. His obituary notice in 1891 noted that "his purse always ready to respond to the calls of deserving charity." He was a public benefactor, making possible the Public Library and the Job Male Art Gallery, and donating the land for the hospital, the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, and the Unitarian Church.

A Central New Jersey Times account in 1870 of "Our Town Improvements" wrote, "The improvements in building is the expression of a spirit that leads to progressive movements in other directions. The old houses are not recognizable with tints of brown and cream and olive, their plain roofs metamorphosed by pediments, fancy gables and cornices, their primitive simplicity converted into modern beauty by wings, bay windows, recessed projections and every variety of architectural development." The writer further comments on the "new houses, with their aspiring towers, French roofs and cupolas." It was the kind of community that led the Elizabeth Herald in May of 1888 to write, "The bustling activity of the city of Plainfield...is remarkable." And to conclude, "The next move in Plainfield, no doubt, will be the horse cars."
Plainfield had become a fashionable summer resort and eventually attracted many wealthy New York businessmen to settle here year 'round. The Gas Light Age evokes memories of Plainfield with theatricals, minstrel shows, roller rinks and other forms of entertainment. The site of many hotels, the Netherwood was reputed to be one of the "most healthful, comfortable and accessible inland summer resorts in the country."

By 1890, with substantial wealth and improvements, Plainfield continued to advance and prosper, attracting people of substance to live here. As successful businessmen and their families settled in the Crescent Avenue area, they became active in the cultural, religious, and educational affairs of the city. James W. Jackson, William D. Murray both served as presidents of the newly-formed YMCA. Henry C. Squires established the Hope Chapel on January 1, 1888 as a branch of the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church. Augustus Baldwin worked closely with Job Male in establishing the first free public library and the art gallery. In 1883 some of the first subscribers to "the last word in modern efficiency," the telephone, lived in the District: George Goddard, F.O. Herring, Leander Lovell, and the Dumond family. Many served as members of the Common Council.

After Job Male's death, Plainfield continued to be a highly desirable neighborhood and remained that way until the 1930's, when many of the large homes were converted to apartments. This process continues with single family residences almost non-existent today. The alterations for the most part are tastefully done and are not detrimental to the basic style and charm of the original building. This makes for a particularly fine collection of buildings appropriate to an Historic District.
Notes on Recollections of Long-time Residents of the Area
Longtime residents of Plainfield have been interviewed regarding their recollections of famous residents of this area. Those persons interviewed were Mrs. Lawrence Heely, Mrs. Henry Noss, Mrs. Dorothy Wills, Mrs. Helen Mygatt, Mr. John Harmon, Miss Gwen Cochran, Mrs. Dorothy DeHart, Miss Dorothy Leal, Mr. Alfred Genung, Mr. Alex Kroll, Mr. A.L.C. Marsh, Mrs. Hendrick Van Oss and others.

Many people have lived there who were outstanding in cultural fields, education and politics, as well as very successful professional and business men, active both locally and in New York City. Also educators and statesmen lived here.

John Carlson, a renown artist and member of the National Academy lived on 3rd Place as did Alex Seidel who achieved international fame for his designs for Steuben Glass. Another prominent artist who lived here was Thomas Hart Benton whose brother lived for many years on Crescent Avenue. Also William Gilbert, a well known illustrator, lived on Crescent Avenue.

The author of the White Cliffs of Dover, Alice Duer Miller, A. Van Dorn Honeyman, the famous historian, lived on 9th Street, and also Van Wyk Brooks another well-known author. Ernest Ackerman, a representative in U.S. Congress in the 1870's and his brother Marion Ackerman, who lived on Crescent Avenue, founded the Lone Star Cement Company and were deeply involved in many large national important financial and industrial enterprises.

The famous opera singer, Mario Caruso, married a Goddard and was frequently a visitor to Plainfield to the Goddard House at 213 East 9th Street. This family had a profound influence on the musical advancement of the entire area.

The area abounded in lawyers, judges and politicians, including four Mayors of Plainfield, and people in the foreign service for 25 years, such as Hendrick Van Oss, most recently served as ambassador to Madagascar and other countries.

The Crescent Avenue area was truly the heart of the town and boasted the most important and influential people of the period 1860 through 1920. The homes of these people reflect their taste, affluence and are a tangible piece of architectural history reflecting a glorious past.

Summary
The Crescent Area Historic District is a great deal more than a lot of old houses. It is probably one of the finest collections of Victorian architecture in the country. The term Victorian is all inclusive and embraces numerous styles that echo tastes and decorative devices of other periods of architecture from other countries and other times than the one in which the present buildings were constructed. The majority of these have what in architectural terms is referred to as Italianate which stems from the architectural styles popular in Italy going back as far as Byzantine derivative styles, and 15th century Venetian palaces. These variety of design styles result in the sudden surge of interest in European cultures and an attempt by the suddenly successful and new class of wealthy businessmen who were anxious to reflect their success in the work of finance in their homes. These interests were stimulated by their travels abroad and what they had seen, which was considered elegant. Thus we have Tuscan towers, Italian villas, Palazzo's with loggia and arcaded window and arches, Renaissance, Egyptian motifs, classical elements, and finally the exuberant eclectic styles throwing the more American traits of Carpenter Gothic and Stick style in for good measure. English architecture is also reflected with half timber, projecting gables, Eastlake influence, Queen Anne and Edwardian styles. The detail photos of these buildings reflect the painstaking craftsmanship of the builders and imaginative design abilities of the architects. It is truly a tangible record of the past which should be preserved as close to its original state as practical, in their new role of many being converted for multi-family use.

The Crescent Area Historic District is one of the finest collections of suburban Victorian architecture in New Jersey. Developed as a speculative real estate venture in the 1870's by Job Male, the buildings are an impressive presentation of Italianate and Second Empire style architecture of the mid to late 19th century. The houses were primarily designed for wealthy businessmen and, consequently, visages within the district still retain a fine elegance in their total ambiance of buildings and their association with landscaping, rustic streets, sidewalks, and trees.

References
Blumenson, John J.G. Identifying American Architecture
Central New Jersey Times, 1870-1885.
Clayton, W. Woodford. History of Union & Middlesex Counties, 1882.
Cochran, Jean Carter. The History of Crescent Avenue Church
The Courier News, History of Plainfield, 1964.
The Courier News, November 1-4-8, 1954.
Devlin, Harry. To Grandfather's House We Go.
Downey, Andrew Jackson. The Architecture of Country Houses.
The Drake House Museum & The Plainfield Public Library, Scrapbooks and Files.
Dunham, F.A. Atlas City of Plainfield and Boro of North Plainfield, 1894.
Fitzgerald & Co. (Pub.). Springfield, Massachusetts, Plainfield City Directory, 1876-7.
Gowans, Alan. Images of American Living.
Honeyman, A. Van Dorn. History of Union County, Volumes I, II, & III.
Lapsley, Howard G. History of Plainfield, 1942.
League of Women Voters. This is Plainfield, 1954.
McCabe, Wayne. Historic Tour – Plainfield, N.J.
Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Plainfield Area, N.J.
Pub. by Plainfield Courier News. Plainfield & Vicinity in Pictures, 1926.
Plainfield Daily Press, Friday & Saturday, January 30, 31, 1891.
Plainfield Evening News, Saturday, May 23, 1888.
Plainfield & North Plainfield City Directory, 1879-80.
Plainfield & North Plainfield City Directory, 1894-5.
Pratt, Dorothy & Richard, A Guide to Early American Homes.
Smiley, F.T. History of Plainfield, 1891.
† Charles H. Detwiller, Jr., A.I.A., Architect and Marilyn Rupp, Architectural Historian, Crescent Area Historic District, Union County, New Jersey, nomination document, 1979, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Crescent Avenue Historic District

Crescent Avenue Historic District form for the National Register of Historic Places

106 - 108 Crescent Avenue
c. 1880
In 1894, the home of William K. McClure, "Attorney and Counselor-at-law"

Channeled flue treatment with brick and arched projecting corbelled support at the third floor. There are two two-story turret-like projections on each corner of the east end of the house.

The unusual brick ornamentation of this large home is especially interesting with the castellation treatment at the fascia just below the roof on the large square tower-like projection. The wrap-around porch has large exhuberant scroll brackets on the porch columns, which also add interest to this fine old mansion.

Crescent Avenue Historic District

Crescent Avenue Historic District form for the National Register of Historic Places

107 Crescent Avenue
c. 1880
In 1895, the home of Clarence Watson, "Clothing, Newark"

Decorative brick courses and a series of lunette windows reminiscent of Venetian palaces. Campanile tower with low pitched roof. Original bracketed hood at the second floor level of the tower over the front entrance.

In spite of the alterations this house still remains one of the few purely Italian Villa styles in the District.

Crescent Avenue Historic District

Crescent Avenue Historic District form for the National Register of Historic Places

131 Crescent Avenue
c. 1880
Three car garage and gardener's cottage
In 1895, the home of E. B. Clark, "Insurance, N. Y."

One of the few surviving porte cocheres in the District. Abounds with Eastlake ornamentation in the gables and on the incised window heads and in the porch treatment with champered columns.

Seven apartments.

A most interesting house and of of the few and completely Eastlake influenced designs in the District, only slightly altered and posessing much style and interesting decorations.

Nov. 12, 1980

Morris Fuller Benton

In the right corner hailing from Brighton England, stands Eric Gill an artist, sculptor printmaker and creator of some of the most beautiful typefaces on the planet. In the left corner a native of Milwaukee USA, stands Morris Fuller Benton one of the most prolific typeface designers the world has ever witnessed. So who's the daddy?

Gill, training to be an architect in London, got frustrated and decided to study calligraphy. Here he met Edward Johnston, creator of the iconic London Underground typeface who influenced him to give up his training and become a calligrapher and letter-cutter. During his life Gill was an accomplished artist and sculptor and wrote the must-have "An Essay on Typography". He wasn't as prolific as Benton but boy did his designs pack a punch. Gill Sans designed in 1928 is his most well-known and they don't come much better than that. A versatile sans that has the strength to dominate a page and the beauty in it's lighter weights to produce a contemporary feel. Perpetua, designed in 1929 and based upon Roman inscriptions, was commissioned by the Monotype Corporation. It's probably one of my favourite serifs. The italic is a stunning design and unique in it's style. Add to that the devastatingly underrated Joanna (1930), Solus (1929), Golden Cockerel (1930) and Aries (1932) Gill was a true master of his craft.

Benton was born into the type industry. His father was Linn Boyd Benton a type-founder. After graduating from Cornell as a mechanical engineer he and his father established the ATF (American Type Founders). Morris was the chief designer from 1900 to 1937 and during this time produced over 200 typefaces. From revivals of classics such as Bodoni and Garamond, he created some classic original faces still popular today like Franklin Gothic, News Gothic, Alternate Gothic, Stymie, Cloister, Century Old Style, Clearface Gothic, the list goes on. He also designed display fonts including Hobo, Broadway, Novel Gothic, Typo Script & Canterbury. The rate of his designs was truly astonishing and his influence on 20th Century typography is immeasurable.

Benton was relentless, a non-stop, typographic heavyweight with hits one after the other. Gill was more measured, an artist, but when he hit, boy it was a big one, sending shockwaves throughout the industry. Without an ounce of national bias on my part I declare Eric Gill the current Typographic World Champ on a split decision.

Anyone out there tough enough to take him on, past or present?

Morris Fuller Benton

"Morris Fuller Benton (November 30, 1872 – June 30, 1948) was an influential American typeface designer who headed the design department of the American Type Founders (ATF), for which he was the chief type designer from 1900 to 1937. Benton designed more than fifty typefaces, ranging from revivals of historical models like ATF Bodoni, to adding new weights to existing faces such as Goudy Old Style and Cheltenham, and to designing original designs such as Hobo, Bank Gothic, and Broadway. Benton's large family of related neogrotesque sans-serif typefaces, known as ‘gothics' as was the norm at the time, includes Alternate Gothic, Franklin Gothic, and News Gothic. All were more similar to, and anticipated, later realist sans-serif typefaces such as Helvetica than did the other early grotesque types of his contemporaries."

Typefaces by Morris Fuller Benton

February 14, 2008 Adobe

Today Adobe introduced its first open source type family, a set of sans serif text fonts based on Morris Fuller Benton's gothic forms, especially Franklin Gothic, released by the American Type Founders Company (ATF) in 1902, and News Gothic, released in 1908. Adobe's Paul Hunt wanted to "create a set of fonts that would be both legible in short UI labels, as well as being comfortable to read in longer passages of text on screen and in print." Hunt didn't intend to copy specific features from these types, but instead, he "sought to achieve a similar visual simplicity by paring each glyph to its most essential form."

Interesting that Hunt would choose the Benton types, as opposed to any of the array of sans serif possibilities available today. News Gothic, used for the opening crawls of the Star Wars movies, was found to be the most legible typeface in a 1912 type legibility study done by Barbara Roethlein at Clark University. "If legibility is to be our sole criterion of excellence of typeface," Roethlein wrote, "News Gothic must be regarded as our nearest approximation to an ideal face, in so far as the present investigation is able to decide this question."

Morris Benton was 36 years old when News Gothic came out in 1908, and had two young daughters, aged ten and six and no doubt learning to read. He hadn't yet formally initiated the legibility studies he would pursue for designing Century Schoolbook (1918–1921), but he must have studied or at least discussed Louis Emile Javal's 1879 type legibility test results with his father, who used them to collaborate with Theodore Lowe De Vinne on the Century Roman type, designed for De Vinne's magazine The Century, and first used in 1896. Apparently Javal had said that "the most legible type is also the most beautiful."

And apparently Adobe's Paul Hunt agreed.

Linn Boyd Benton

Linn Boyd and Morris Fuller Benton, father and son, each played crucial parts in the develop- ment of modern typefounding in the United States and the world. Both worked at the Amer- ican Type Founders Company, which as a gen- eral policy did not promote or advertise the im- portance of individual employees. Although Morris "sublimated his talents to the needs of a commercial type foundry,"1 nevertheless "his scores of remarkably successful designs . . . form the backbone of American type design." At the same time, "the mechanical wizardry that made the profusion of these types possible in the great mechanical age of typefounding is due in no small measure to the efforts of his illustrious fa- ther."2
As individuals, the Bentons are virtually un- known. Linn Boyd was a gregarious man who, all through life seized opportunities and found ways to produce the results he wanted. His son Morris was reticent, not eager to be noticed or praised, and even proved to be a difficult subject for the Inland Printer reporter once sent to in- terview him.
The Benton name was brought to the United States by an Englishman, Andrew Benton, who settled in Connecticut in 1638. Linn Boyd Ben- ton's father, Charles Swan Benton, was the youngest in a family of ten children. Charles was born July 12, 1810, in Fryeburg, Maine, to Dr. Joseph Benton and Catherine Britton. Dr. Ben- ton was a physician "of the old school, whose reputation extended for a circuit of a hundred miles."3 Charles developed a great respect for his father, noting in later years that his scoldings cured more people than did his medicines.
When Charles was fourteen he was sent to Lit- tle Falls, New York, where he was apprenticed to his uncle, a tanner. Charles soon gave up the tan- ner's trade to attend the nearby Lowville Acad- emy, and then, at the age of 20, began to study law at the office of his oldest brother, Judge Nathaniel S. Benton, also in Little Falls. Charles was admitted to the bar in 1835 when he was twenty-five years old, but apparently was not destined to pursue a legal career, since, as one hand-written obituary pointed out years later, ‘‘he possessed a warm feeling-ed, human friendly for right and truth glowing heart, and a man with one such heart, can as lawyer here not successful be.''
When Charles Benton was twenty-two, he es- tablished the Mohawk Courier & Little Falls Gazette. In 1834 Josiah A. Noonan became pub- lisher of the paper, with Benton as editor, which brought him prominence and a means for being vocal on political issues.
In 1840 Charles married Emeline Fuller, whose family could trace its ancestry back at least to 1671, when a Thomas Morris bought a large mansion in New Haven, Connecticut. Amos Morris, a descendent of Thomas, served in the Revolutionary War, and was taken captive by the British. In 1783, Eliphalet Fuller married Amos's daughter Amy, who became Emeline's grandmother.
Two years after he married, Charles Benton was elected to Congress from the 17th Congres- sional District of New York State, and was re- elected in 1844. While he was in Congress, Ben- ton voted to aid Samuel Morse in building the first electric telegraph line.
During his term in Washington, D.C., Charles met a congressman named Linn Boyd from Ken- tucky, who later became Speaker of the House of Representatives. The two became close friends and shared an interest in dueling. Boyd, while teaching Charles the sport, declared: ‘‘Never fight a duel; never be afraid to fight a duel - let them know you will fight and you will never have to fight.'' On May 13, 1844, Linn Boyd Ben- ton was born and named after Charles's es- teemed friend.
In 1847, Charles Benton was elected Clerk of the Court of Appeals of New York State and served for two terms. His wife Emeline died dur- ing this time, less than five years after Linn Boyd was born. Boyd, as he came to be called, re- mained an only child and a motherless one for several years until 1853 when his father married Elizabeth Babcock Reynolds of Oswego, N.Y. She and Charles had one son, Charles R. Benton. At least for some of the time, Boyd was brought up by his maternal grandmother. He learned to rely on himself during those years, and became increasingly independent (fig. 2).

Cont. from www.printinghistory.org

In 1835, Boyd moved to Milwaukee, Wiscon- sin, to join his father who was by then the editor and part owner of the Milwaukee Daily News. Boyd, at the age of eleven, learned to set type in the composing room of the paper. Charles Ben- ton's former publisher in Little Falls, Josiah A. Noonan, also moved to Milwaukee during this time, became a partner in a paper mill, opened a paper warehouse, and also established what came to be the Northwestern Type Foundry.
Around 1856, Charles Benton was appointed registrar of the land office in LaCrosse, Wiscon- sin, by President Franklin Pierce, and held that office until Abraham Lincoln was elected Presi- dent in 1861. Charles Benton had actually been considered as a candidate for the presidency in the 1860 Democratic convention, but lost the nomination to Stephen Douglas. In 1862 he was a candidate for Congress on the Democratic ticket, and, while he had no hopes of winning the election in the highly Republican sixth dis- trict of Wisconsin, he did carry LaCrosse County. After this, Charles took up farming in West Salem, Wisconsin, and later in Galesburg, Illinois, until 1869, when he returned to LaCrosse.
Because his family moved so often, Boyd Ben- ton's education was somewhat unusual. After at- tending schools in Little Falls and Milwaukee, he was sent to Galesville College in Galesville, Wis- consin, and later studied Latin, Greek, and other advanced subjects for about two years with a pri- vate tutor in LaCrosse. Determined not to be taught from books all day, Boyd arranged with his tutor to teach him in the mornings; if they finished their lessons, Boyd could do as he wanted in the afternoons.
Boyd liked to work with the local tombstone maker, learning to design letters and cut them in stone. Evidently, he was not particularly apt. His mistakes had to be chiseled off, the tombstones smoothed down, and the work started over, all paid for out of Boyd's own money. He later told his granddaughter that he never earned any cash money because he ruined so many tombstones, though he did learn a lot about letters.
When a jeweler settled in LaCrosse, Boyd Benton decided to leave the tombstone business to study jewelry repair. Detail and accuracy be- came very important to young Boyd as he learned to remake watch parts. His mechanical aptitude became obvious when the jeweler gave him a piece of gold that Boyd fashioned in his spare time into a tiny model steam engine that actually ran. The jeweler was so pleased that he put the steam engine on display in the window of his shop.
After completing his education, Boyd appar- ently went back to Milwaukee to work again at the Daily News. But instead of exploiting Boyd's talents, his employer used him mainly as an er- rand boy. Another contemporary account has Boyd learning to print in the office of Charles Seymour's LaCrosse Republican, and then leav- ing to work as a bookkeeper for a leather house in the same town.
In any event, Boyd must have had some ac- counting training because in 1866 he became the bookkeeper for Josiah Noonan's Northwestern Type Foundry in Milwaukee. Soon after, Boyd was promoted to buyer for Noonan's warehouse.
One summer night while out for a walk, Boyd heard the lovely music of banjos and mandolins being played by several young women as they sat on the steps outside one of their homes. Stop- ping to enjoy the music, he quickly recognized one of the young women as Jessie Elizabeth Donaldson, a friend from his youth whom he had first met in a dancing class but had not seen in years. Following a romantic courtship, Boyd and Jessie were married in Milwaukee in 1871.
Perhaps because he had been an only child for eleven years, Boyd longed to have a large family. Jessie, too, wanted many children. Their plans were altered, however, when Jessie's first child was delivered in a breech birth. Boyd swore never to put her through such an experience
again, and so Morris Fuller Benton, born on November 30, 1872, was to be their only child. He was named after Boyd's maternal grand- mother's brother, Morris E. Fuller.
Josiah Noonan went bankrupt in the panic of 1873, enabling Boyd and a partner named Cramer to purchase Noonan's type and elec- trotype foundry. Years later Boyd lamented that if he had known anything about typefounding at the time, he would have thrown the entire plant into the lake as a measure of economy! Instead, he went on to master that difficult art and change it dramatically with a series of important improvements and inventions.
In 1874 Cramer sold his half-interest in the type foundry to Lieutenant-Commander Frank M. Gove, a man who knew nothing about the foundry business but who would prove to be a most successful and popular salesman for the firm. The new partners changed the name of the firm to Benton, Gove and Company. While Gove handled the business end, Boyd Benton learned everything he could about manufacturing type in a highly competitive market.
Many years later, in 1922, Henry Lewis Bullen, the historian and publicist for the American Type Founders Company, described this period of Boyd's life in an article for The Inland Printer:
Before Gove died, Benton had completed his self- instruction in typefounding and found himself on the most intimate terms with decimal fractions and measurements of ten thousandths of an inch. He had and still has a mania for accuracy to the vanishing point, not only knowing, as the books tell us, that a hot breath impinged on a small piece of steel changes its dimensions, but actually taking that solemn fact to heart, grieving that it cannot be overcome. The bane of Benton's career has been the limitations of error which are made necessary by the disposition of all metals to refuse to resist molecular action. What other mortals cheerfully accept as accuracy Benton regards as a calamity.4
Benton's first type-related patent was regis- tered in 1882 and described a multiple mold for casting leads and slugs. Benton claimed that this machine, ‘‘with one man operating it, could cast more spacing material in a ten-hour day than ten men working the same period could turn out with other methods.''5 In the same year, Benton began to work on a typesetting machine with automatic justification.

cont. from www.printinghistory.org

He devised a system, based on his so-called "self-spacing type," that shortened the time required for justification by reducing the number of character widths in a font of type. Thus, printing type was cast for the first time to pre-determined widths.6
Gove died in 1882, and Benton sold a one- third interest to R. V. Waldo, a former wholesale grocer who in time proved to be an ideal partner. Again the firm's name changed, this time to Ben- ton, Waldo & Co.
Linn Boyd Benton continued to invent and perfect machines for his type foundry. By 1884 the foundry was using the first version of a pan- tograph machine he invented for engraving steel punches. Benton received a patent for the third version in 1885. He was becoming well known in the printing industry, though his company was not as influential as other foundries. The Sep- tember 1886 Inland Printer reported that Benton was ‘‘an intelligent, entertaining, unostentatious gentleman, a mechanical genius of whom [Mil- waukee] has every right to feel proud; . . . one such man is of more value to the community than all of the brainless dudes to be found throughout the length and breadth of the country.''7
Though Benton spent much of his time devel- oping his business, he still made time for outside interests. He had a fine baritone voice and sang in a number of Milwaukee church choirs. Boyd and Jessie also belonged to a singing society in Milwaukee, and performed in a number of Gilbert and Sullivan productions, as well as other light operas. An interest in music was also cultivated in young Morris. He sang as a choir- boy, studied the violin, and later, like his mother, learned to play the mandolin.
As Boyd had learned to set type at age eleven with the help of his father, so Morris Fuller Ben- ton spent time in his youth working at his own printing press in the family's home on Wells Street in Milwaukee. When he was eleven, Mor- ris designed and printed admittance tickets for children's music classes, tickets for neighbor- hood shows, receipts for work he did for his fa- ther, and booklets of riddles. He also printed a parody of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and named it To an Electric Light.
Morris was not a strong boy and suffered through a variety of childhood ailments, includ- ing scarlet fever. As a result of Morris's poor health, his doctor recommended that he be
moved away from Lake Michigan. So the family moved to the west of Milwaukee to Wauwatosa, and Morris again set up a workshop for his printing and photography.
The relocation took its toll on the social life that Boyd and Jessie had enjoyed so much in Milwaukee. The city was several hours by horse and buggy, and the last train left Milwaukee too early in the evening for the Bentons to attend the theater. Calling upon the same inventiveness that he brought to his business, Boyd quickly found a solution to the dilemma. Boyd's grand- daughter Caroline recalled: ‘‘My grandfather and two or three buddies decided to buy a train from the Milwaukee railroad.''8 Running an en- gine and one car, the young entrepreneurs could take their friends to Milwaukee to see all the shows and other evening activities that inter- ested them, and leave the city just before mid- night. The enterprise was so successful that they bought a second car, and then a third. At the end of the year the railroad bought back the train.
In September 1892, at the age of twenty, Mor- ris left Milwaukee for Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. He was older than most of his fellow students because of the school time lost to child- hood illnesses. Morris did not intend to follow his father into the typefounding business and, when he first matriculated at Cornell, was still open-minded about his career. Only later did he decide to study mechanical engineering, per- haps because he realized he had a knack for it.
One thesis requirement was to work for part of a semester at a machine shop. Morris's assign- ment was to choose a piece of machinery in the shop, draw blueprints of it, and then build a model. While at Cornell he also designed a can- non, built a model of it out of brass, and, for years afterwards, fired it every fourth of July.
Morris's best grades were in mechanical draw- ing, but he had trouble with the language re- quirement. Caroline remembers her father re- calling his struggle with French: ‘‘He kept going in to take the test in French. He'd bone up on it and he'd go inhe only had to have a reading knowledge, I think . . . And finally, senior year, he had his thesis all written (and he had a little trouble on thatthe professor lost the thesis, and had to give him a grade off the top of his head)but finally, the French professor said, ‘I've seen too much of you. You bone up once more and come in and we'll see what we can do.' So he went in and took it once more and [the professor] gave him a passing grade.'' Morris graduated in June 1896, having taken prizes in freehand drawing, mechanical drawing, and machine shop work.

Cont. from www.printinghistory.org

In 1892, just as Morris was entering Cornell, twenty-three American type foundries - includ- ing the Benton, Waldo firm - merged to form the American Type Founders Company, or ATF as it soon came to be called. For the first few chaotic months after the merger, the elder Bentons re- mained in Milwaukee, but it soon became evi- dent that Boyd's genius and experience were re- quired in New York where the new company had decided to situate its offices. Boyd moved his foundry to New York in 1894, but left Waldo in Milwaukee to handle a sales office. He also held onto his house on Wells Street. Morris was in charge of renting out the Wells Street house and spent a few summer vacations away from Cor- nell, looking after the family property. When the
time came several years later to sell the house, Morris handled most of the arrangements.
A few months after Morris graduated from Cornell, he became his father's assistant at ATF. He designed machines and began to learn about typefaces. On September 1, 1897, after a three- year engagement, Morris Benton married Ethel Bottum, the daughter of Boyd's patent attorney.
The young couple took up residence in a small, somewhat dingy apartment on Staten Is- land, ten blocks away from the senior Bentons. Each morning, Morris and his father would meet and take the ferry to New York City. The foundry was at that time on the southernmost tip of Manhattan. Ethel was alone all day, and when her first daughter, Elizabeth Boyd, was born the following year, she became terribly lonesome. Caroline explained, ‘‘She didn't know anybody, not a soul, on Staten Island.'' Shortly after the baby's birth, the young family moved in with Boyd and Jessie, who had recently bought a large Victorian house at 19 Central Avenue in Thompkinsville, Staten Island. Another daugh- ter, Caroline, was born in 1902 (see photo). The two families lived together on Staten Island for nine years.
After ATF moved to Communipaw Avenue in Jersey City, N.J., in 1903, Boyd and Morris de- cided to leave Staten Island and move closer to the company. They eventually chose Plainfield, N.J., for its schools and because it was famous for its clean artesian well water. In 1906 Boyd rented a home for the whole family, a large Vic- torian house at 131 Crescent Avenue. About two years later he bought a house with three and a half acres of lawn and gardens at 107 Crescent Avenue (see photo). Boyd had always wanted a large family, and both he and Jessie were pleased with the three-generation arrangement (see photo).
Morris's interest in hobbies was as keen as ever. He took color photographs and developed them in his own darkroom on the third floor of the new house. The darkroom contained a work table and a lathe, as well as equipment for exper- imenting with stereotypes. Morris also amused himself with target shooting, though he did not care for hunting. He had inherited a collection of some fourteen guns from his father-in-law, and he belonged to a local gun club. He kept his guns, target records, and ammunition locked in his darkroom.

107 Crescent Avenue

Letter to 6 year-old granddaughter

Cont. from www.printinghistory.org

Morris kept the guns oiled and cleaned, and later taught his daughters how to shoot at tin cans. The children had toy pan- tographs and Morris once electrified a mechan- ical train for them, before electric trains were readily available.
Music was an important feature of family life in the Benton household, and both of Morris's daughters were encouraged to study the piano. Very much like his father, who expected perfec- tion from mechanical parts, Morris often re- tuned the piano after the regular piano tuner had left the house. Caroline recalled that ‘‘he had the theory that every individual piano had cer- tain tonal areas which needed to be balanced with extra care in the tuning.''
He owned an Edison phonograph and, later, a Victrola, and loved to listen to Enrico Caruso and most classical music, except Brahms. He also owned an Aeolian Orchestrelle, a pump or- gan with stops that Benton would manipulate to get the tone he wanted, while the paper roll took care of the notes. His daughter Elizabeth re- membered: ‘‘He used to play Tannhauser, and my little bed upstairs would rock!''
Morris was a patient man, and explained things carefully to his daughters. He drew dia- grams on the paper tablecloth after dinner to il- lustrate points he was making and, when the table was set with good linen, would use the salt and pepper shakers to represent in simple terms some complex piece of machinery.
Both Morris and Ethel loved the outdoors. He was an avid figure-skater, and took the family to the Adirondacks for vacations, where they would hike with map and compass. Caroline de- scribed one of her father's foolproof methods for finding their way back: ‘‘He would take red tags and hang them on the trees, and then coming back, he'd collect the tags again.'' Daughter Eliz- abeth recalled that he took slides of the family vacations and later would give slide shows back in Plainfield.
Boyd was more sociable than his son. His grandchildren described him as a "big, powerful character." He would often orate at the dinner table, especially about politics. He was what peo- ple then called a "single taxer" who did not sup- port the 193 income tax law, saying,‘‘That's ter- rible! It's socialism.'' He would often slap the table to make a point, startling his wife in the process.
Morris channelled his own considerable drive and ambition into careful and conscientious work. Prior to coming to New Jersey, Morris had helped his father to further develop the punch- and matrix-engraving machines, in addition to his work on other typefounding equipment. Throughout his career, Morris's lack of preten-sion won him considerable respect in the com- pany, even if accounts of his achievements did not reach far beyond Jersey City. According to Caroline, he was never adequately compensated for his many contributions to ATF.
Caroline remembered the two Bentons con- sulting over some of the later inventions. ‘‘[They] would talk things over sometimes, [but] not at the [dinner] table. Grandpa would say, ‘Oh, Morris, before you go upstairs, I'd like to ask you something.' And they would go into a huddle together and discuss [it]. . . . After my grandfather died I [asked] my father about working on one of the recent machines grandpa had perfected, and I said, ‘Did you work on that too?' And he said, ‘Oh, yes.' And then I said ‘Well, you had a mechanical engineering degree, did you work on the others?' And he said, ‘I think I worked on practically all of them.'"
Morris Fuller Benton had become ATF's chief type designer in 1900. Painstakingly researching each new typeface idea, Morris studied the mar- ket to determine what sort of face was needed. Richard Marder, whose grandfather John Marder was one of the original founders of ATF, remembered seeing Benton in the company's renowned typographic library on Saturdays, which then were half workdays for employees. ‘‘I used to spend a lot of my time on Saturdays in the library. . . . [Benton's] inspiration came from that library. That's one of the reasons it was created.''9
About the time that Morris Benton's great Century Schoolbook typeface was making its debut, he endured a personal tragedy that made him even more reticent. On March 17, 1920, his wife Ethel died suddenly of an infection after an operation. She was only forty-two years old, and her death was a shock to the family. Shortly after Ethel's death, Morris shared some thoughts with Caroline. ‘‘[He said that] life divided itself up into compartments, and they didn't necessarily follow through, they cut off, . . . . He just felt that one [had] ended, and he was very, I wouldn't say that he was philosophical, but he did accept the fact that the facts were the facts. He had to make a new life.''

In 1923, Morris married Katrina Ten Eck Wheeler, his second cousin on his father's side of the family. She was thirty-one at the time, twenty years younger than Morris. They moved out of the big white house in Plainfield to an apartment about half a block away and re- mained there for seven years.

Cont. from www.printinghistory.org

In the mid-1920'ss Morris's health suffered again with the onset of serious stomach ulcers, ‘‘which probably [were caused by] coping with Grandpa,'' Caroline explained, ‘‘because Grand- pa wasn't as sweet and lovable as he had been when he was younger.'' The added pressures at work also took their toll. ‘‘If things didn't go right at the foundry, then he [Morris] was the one that had to straighten them out,'' Caroline explained, and there were times when he was so tired, he would just have bread and milk for supper.
To other observers, Boyd's advancing age only found him more affable. In 1922, when Boyd was seventy-eight years old, Henry Lewis Bullen wrote, ‘‘Mr. Benton outdoes his youthful years in humor and geniality. An observant man, he has accumulated a great fund of genial anecdotes.'' Bullen also noted that Boyd Benton retained ‘‘as ardent an interest . . . in every detail of type- founding as ever he had when confronting its most difficult problems in earlier years. He [per- mitted] nothing to interfere with a most punc- tual attention to his duties, though these [were] largely self-imposed.''10 His character, according to Bullen, was beyond reproach. In 1923 the American Printer described Boyd Benton as ‘‘one of those men, quietly doing their day's work, who have had a tremendous influence on the American printing industry.''11
Boyd loved working - his friends were at ATF and his social life revolved around the company. He did not have the same interest in hobbies, sports, and the outdoors that his son had, so he put off thoughts of retirement, even though his eyesight became worse and worse. In 1930, when he was eighty-six years old, he received a patent "for an important improvement in the larger printing types used in newspaper headings."12
On September 9 of the same year, Jessie Ben- ton died at the age of eighty-four. Boyd missed her greatly. Caroline remembered: ‘‘He would stand at the dining room table and bring his fist down, saying, ‘Damnable! I've lost my little doll!'''
After his mother died, Morris and Katrina moved back to the big white house with Boyd. The two men continued to go to work together every day. Caroline recalled, ‘‘Papa said, [Boyd] would come into the foundry and all hell would break loose - everything had to be just so. . . . That's the trouble when you work 'til you're 88, you know, somebody has to help you. And you know who did it.'' But Caroline stressed that Morris remained ‘‘very patient with his father, and very sweet.''
Linn Boyd Benton retired from his position as manager of ATF's general manufacturing depart- ment on July 1, 1932. He died suddenly on July 15 of a cerebral hemorrhage.

cont. from www.printinghistory.org

he minutes of the ATF directors' meeting for October 14, 1932 included the following state- ment:
RESOLVED: That the Directors of the American Typefounders Company place upon record their sorrow and deep sense of loss to themselves per- sonally and to the Company in the death of LINN BOYD BENTON, who has been a member of the Board of Directors since its first organization in 1892, a period of forty years.
Devoting his great natural genius of invention exclusively for the advantage of this Company from the time, forty years ago, he became a Direc- tor of the Company, and Manager of its General Manufacturing Department, Mr. Benton's inven- tions revolutionized the typefounding art and craft, and placed the Company in a position of leadership, to the great advantage of the Company and the printing industry which it serves. These benefits have been, from the beginning, of incal- culable value. These benefits will continue as long as the indispensible art of typography survives.
Those engaged in the arts of typography throughout the world have acknowledged Mr. Benton's genius, and the resulting benefits. This Company has benefitted by his prestige. No other man connected with the Company has served it more valuably than our late departed friend.
As a Man Mr. Benton endeared himself to us by his modesty, his delightful humor, and his probity in all matters, intellectual and material. He was ever faithful to his conscience and also to this Company and the Board of Directors, who were conscious of the honor of being associated with so great and fine a Man.
The Directors respectfully present this appreci- ation of the Man and his character and genius to his Family in profound sympathy with their grief.13

cont. from www.printinghistory.org

The Editor.''14
Morris Benton remained at ATF for another five years after his father's death, but it was a difficult period for the company. Already in the 1920's, profits had begun to decline, and the 1930's brought a brush with bankruptcy. Caroline at- tributed some of ATF's problems to a lack of planning - management seemed unwilling to groom successors for the company's ageing exec- utives. "Everyone was getting old," she said, "and I think that was the trouble. . . . It was very short-sighted not to take in younger men and train them, and they didn't. They were satisfied with getting their profits."
In 1937, at the age of sixty-five, Morris Benton retired from the American Type Founders Com- pany. He apparently maintained few contacts with the firm, because in an August 8, 1937, letter to Ben Lewis, he stated, "I have definitely retired from business and am no longer connected with the A.T.F.''
In 1939, after Jessie and Linn Boyd Benton had been dead for several years, Morris and Katrina bought a house on Long Hill Road in Milling- ton, N.J., about six miles from Plainfield, and sold the "White Elephant." Their new house in- cluded a large landscaped area on a slope and a lovely view on three sides. Morris loved the Long Hill Road house since, according to his daughter Caroline, it was the one home he could truly call his own. Though advised by his doctor that his recurrent ulcers required treatment and possibly surgery, Morris nevertheless resisted exposing himself to the same risk that had taken his first wife.
Morris enjoyed the remaining nine years of his life, spending summer vacations at a cottage on Beaver Lake, N.J. Like his father, he offered political advice, cautioning daughter Caroline to pattern is right, then the more accurate and pre- cise the machine, the more perfect the reproduc- tion of the designer's art."16
Preliminary Research
Before Morris Benton began to draw a new type- face, he studied the historic exemplars in ATF's extensive typographical library. Even when he was designing a completely modern face, Benton first conducted extensive research. He believed that gathering thorough background informa- tion for a new face was an essential part of the designer's job. Benton studied original type- founders' specimen sheets, as well as booksin- cluding incunabulaprinted in a wide variety of typefaces. Many of these resources were lo- cated in ATF's splendid library and museum.
The Drawings
Morris Benton and his colleagues began with pencil drawings, which would then be inked-in for evaluation. These would be used to get a sense of what the letters would look like.
An original drawing could be of any size, but preferably was 96-point or larger. Some faces be- gan life as just one word: Balloon Light and Ex- trabold, for example, both originated from the word CHAMPION.
Every year ATF received hundreds of proposed type faces from enthusiastic letterers. The origi- nal drawings they provided could seldom be used as working drawings because independent designers rarely realized the complexities of the type manufacturing process. Most designs had to be redrawn to conform to technical limita- tions and peculiar word combinations. For ex- ample, Bertram Goodhue's drawings for Chel- tenham were not directly translated into patterns for cutting matrices upon reception by ATF's design department. Morris Benton first had to adapt them to the appropriate specifica- tions for typecasting.
Some designers were prepared to make the slight design changes that were needed to com- pensate for the different sizes of a face. D. B. Up- dike, for example, wrote that "a design for a type alphabet that may be entirely successful for the size for which it is drawn, cannot be successfully applied to all other sizes of the same series. Each size is a law unto itself, and is often bettered by modifications in the original design made by the
feeling and taste of the designer."17
The concept can be illustrated easily by reduc-
ing 48-point type, for example, to nine or ten points. The serifs will start to disappear, the counters may begin to close up, and conse- quently the letters will lose their appeal. Though type designers understood the concept of optical scaling, a 1947 article in The Inland Printer stated, "The belief is widespread that a type face originates by some designer submitting the drawing of an alphabet to the founder who . . . then proceeds to photograph it to the various sizes to make up a series."18 This was far from the case. The original drawings were simply the starting point for the design department.
The Delineating Apparatus
The next step in type production was to get the characters to an appropriate size for making pat- terns. Each drawing for a typeface was placed in a special delineating machine invented by Linn Boyd Benton where an enlarged outline was made so large, in fact, that all errors could be easily seen and corrected.
The delineating machine was a refined panto- graph with a microscope attachment, enabling the operator to enlarge or reduce a single char- acter very accurately. Benton's patent applica- tion for the machine was at first rejected by the United States Patent Office on the grounds that it described a mechanical impossibility! But af- ter a demonstration on an ATF delineating ma- chine that had been in operation for several months, the patent was promptly granted.
The face of the microscope attached to the de- lineator held two single filaments of silk, crossed in the center of the focal point. Directly beneath the focal point, a small bed or plate held the character, clamped in place. The larger bed of the machine held a sheet of paper under the pan- tograph's tracing point, which for enlarging op- erations held a small pencil. The cross-hairs of the microscope were focused on the outline of the character being traced. Then the operator, looking through the microscope, followed the outline of the design by moving the pencil holder and, in so doing, traced an enlarged out- line of the character.
The bed of the holder on which the original character was clamped could be swiveled to any angle, "thereby changing the style of the letter to vote for Wilkie, not Roosevelt, in the 1944 presi- dential election.

ig. . Microphotograph of the Lord's Prayer cast on the end of an -point piece of type. The matrix was cut so that the text would be right-reading. This exhibition of the precision of Benton's matrix engraving machine was used for advertising purposes. (Photo credit, Sheila Donnelley).

Cont. from www.printinghistory.org

He was, claimed an October 14 letter to her that year, "firmly and completely convinced that another four years of FDR [would] be the finish of the U.S." A few years af- ter the election he wrote, "The doctor says there is nothing the matter with me; but the multitude of complications of the present times gets my goat easier than it would twenty years ago.''
Morris Benton died of an embolism after a brief illness on June 30, 1948, in All Souls Hospi- tal in Morristown, N.J., at the age of seventy-five. He had smoked heavily and, said Caroline, "if he hadn't had an ulcer he probably would have had lung cancer."
Brief obituaries of Morris Benton appeared in The New York Times and The Inland Printer and, in each case, dwelled for a precious sentence or two on his father's importance to the type- founding industry.
The two Bentons, in separate and equally im- portant ways, revived a moribund industry. Morris's outstanding program of type design helped the American Type Founders Co. define new markets for itself in the advertising commu-
nity, making its loss of body type sales to the Linotype and Monotype machines less painful. Linn Boyd, for his part, raised the standards of typemaking to levels that made ATF type ad- mired throughout the world. Though the com- pany itself is no longer in business, much of its Benton-designed or modified machinery was saved from the scrap heap and still carries on its precision duties.
** *
How Type Was Made at ATF
In December 1909, the American Machinist mag- azine published an article by W. J. Kaup on the American Type Founders Company, noting that the making of type "is an art where the little things, measured in fractions of a thousandth of an inch, are the big things as exemplified by [ATF], whose system makes each small step a re- finement link in the whole chain of microscopic accuracy."15 This accuracy was what both Linn Boyd and Morris Fuller Benton demanded of themselves and others. Father and son were per- fectly suited to this type of work, and the results they achieved were phenomenal.
One of ATF's advertising devices, used as early as 1922, was a piece of type on which was cast the entire Lord's Prayer: sixty-six words, made up of 271 characters, including punctuation. On an eight-point version of the Lord's Prayer, the lower case letters were .0044" in height; the ma- trix was cut by a tool measuring .0005" in diam- eter and its area was constrained to a six-point square, that is, a square measuring 1/144th of an inch on each side. Amazingly, the words are en- tirely legible under a microscope (fig. 6). ATF also cast and distributed another version of the Lord's Prayer on a 4-point body.
The microscopic detail of this advertising piece was made possible by Linn Boyd Benton's greatest invention: the matrix-engraving ma- chine. But an accurate matrix engraver would be of little use if the design of the type was not also precise. And type design was Morris Benton's jobhe oversaw the design department at ATF with a zeal and passion for quality that equaled his father's. As independent type designer Fred- eric W. Goudy said, "The machine itself may be hard and uncompromising, but its product is entirely within the control of the pattern - if the wide, narrow, back slope or italic, both the italic and back slope being produced through the combination of angles," explained Kaup in the American Machinist (fig. 7).

Fig. 7. The delineating machine. A, tracing point; B, fingers for clamping the pattern character; C, bed plate show- ing angle possibilities. Note that the character shown is clamped at an angle, enabling the operator to produce a condensed version of the original. (Redrawn from an illustration in the American Machinist, 16 December 1909.)

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1954

1954 - 1970 296 Images from Plainfield Library Scrapbook

April 16, 1954

1958

Caption: GARDEN CLUB GIFT – Mrs. Albert L. Stillman, chairman of the Shakespeare committee of the Plainfield Garden Club, places identification card on English hawthorne in Cedar Brook Park. Watching, left to right, are: Mrs. Morris S. Benton, Mrs. Edward H. Ladd 3rd and Mrs. C. Sidney Trewin, club members. (Coronet, Photo by E. T. Wiggins)

100 Attend Open House at Shakespeare Garden

About 100 persons attended an informal tour of the Shakespeare Garden in Cedar Brook Park yesterday afternoon. The outdoors open house marked the 30th anniversary of the garden, one of about a dozen in the United States.

Mrs. Robert F. MacLeod of 11 Brook Lane, president of the Plainfield Garden Club, and members of the club's Shakespeare committee, headed by Mrs. Albert L. Stillman of 73 Leland Ave., described to visitors the 100-odd varieties of plants and shrubs in the garden.

The Garden Club, the Shakespeare Club and the Union County Park Commission established the garden 30 years ago. It now consists of 17 beds and two long borders in a park area of about 150 by 40 feet, located off Randolph Rd.

The ideas was to include all the plants and shrubs – there are 44 of them, Mrs. Stillman said – mentioned by Shakespeare in his plays and sonnets.

Other Plants Included

But the garden was so large, Mrs. Stillman said, that it was agreed upon to include other plant varieties in the 16th and 17th Centuries.

All of the 44 varieties mentioned in the bard's works are labeled by markers, which include the particular Shakespearean quotations referring to them.

The garden was laid out 30 years ago by a landscape architect from Olmsted Brothers of Boston. The Garden Club and the Park Commission split the cost. The garden is cared for by a Park Commission gardener, and supplemental work is done by the Garden Club's Shakespeare committee.

Mrs. Samuel T. Carter Jr. of 940 Woodland Ave., the club's first Shakespeare committee chairman was unable to attend the outdoors open house yesterday.

Termed "Second Finest"

Mrs. Carter, author of the book, "Shakespeare Gardens," has termed the Plainfield garden the second finest in the nation. She has said top honors belong to a Shakespeare garden in Rockefeller Park in Cleveland, Ohio. Established in 1915, the Cleveland garden was one of the first to be planted in the United States.

Mrs. Stillman said Shakespeare gardens bring together flowers grown in England in one period of garden history from being lost to U.S. gardens. The projects also add beauty to public parks and provide a place where Shakespeare poetry is illustrated with living plants and shrubs.

Mrs. Stillman's Shakespeare committee includes Mrs. Morris F. Benton, Mrs. C. Sidney Trewin, Mrs. Victor R. King, Mrs. William P. Elliott and Mrs. George J. His.

Mrs. Edward H. Ladd 3rd, horticultural chairman of the club, was also among those who pointed out features of the garden to guests.

The hospitality committee included Mrs. Henry DeForest, Mrs. Benton, Mrs. Ladd, Mrs. His and Mrs. King.

Punch was served by Mrs. William P. Elliott, Mrs. Trewin and Mrs. His.

1958 Mrs. Benton

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership