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“Early fraktur, the word is both singular and plural, are handmade documents commemorating rites of passage like baptisms, marriages, graduations, and deaths. They were and typically still are hand-decorated with pen, ink, and watercolors. Early American fraktur usually had text in German because most of the scriveners were Germans making fraktur for the German market in America. At that time there was a significant population of German immigrants and their American-born offspring living in eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, but the art originated anywhere the German population wandered in early American history. A full-sized fraktur measures about forty by eighty-four centimeters (16 by 13 inches) and it is almost always on paper.” Typesetting made hand-worked fraktur obsolete by the mid-1840’s. Excerpted with permission from The Serapis Fraktur by Mark C. Grove.