Hamilton Wood Type Aetna
Digital Type Design
HWT Aetna is a revival of the sturdy Roman style of wood type most often called simply Aetna. This new digital version by Aaron Bell features four widths all based on the various widths commonly offered by 19th Century wood type manufacturers. In addition, there is a four-layer all-caps version Aetna based on the the famous Wm. Page Chromatic Types, that allows the user the ability to easily create these chromatic streamer and shadow effects. Both the multiple width Aetnas and Streamer component fonts support full Western and Eastern European languages.
William H. Page patented Aetna April 18, 1871 (US Design Patent 4820). Various type manufacturers released the standard Aetna under the following names and numbers:
• Hamilton Aetna or No 62
• Morgans & Wilcox Aetna 
• National Printers’ Materials Painters’ Roman
• Page Roman Aetna 
• Tubbs Aetna or No 2101
• Wells Painters’ Roman 
According to wood type historian Rob Roy Kelly: "Aetna (similar to designs called Painter's Roman by Heber Wells and Doric by Morgans & Wilcox). First listed by William Page in his 1870 specimens...Design is typical of those that replaced older Face Face Romans during the second half of the century. Retaining a Roman quality, but sturdier because of the treatment of the thins, the face was exceedingly well received by job printers."
In the time of wood type, streamers were used to call attention to a word or title with a graphic effect. The effect was created by cutting the wood type so that it would print in reversed out bars on press. And being the Victorian times, they would cut ornate end-caps so that these bars would look like decorative banners. In its most exuberant, as seen in Page’s chromatic specimen, streamers could be printed in as many as three colors.
The HWT Aetna Streamer set of fonts allows the user the ability to easily create these Chromatic Streamers effects of the Victorian times. The set consists of four fonts, Fıll, Outline, Shadow, Banner. The Banner font contains 7 of the most popular end-caps of the time. All of the Streamer fonts are uppercase so that the words fit evenly on the banner.