The Spacerite Round Corner Gothic saw moderate usage between its creation in 1925 and the late 1960s, as both a sandblast or hand carved alphabet. When the stencil press era began in 1968 the popularity of the alphabet began to dwindle, but the alphabet does receive some usage today.
Rounded gothic style letters, also often referred to as Commercial Gothic, and later as the derogatory “Common” Gothic, gained popularity in the second half of the 19th century as granite usage continued to rise – making intricate lettering more time consuming and difficult due to its hardness. This style was often used for raised hand carved inscriptions, and either raised or incised when sandblasted. The Round Corner Gothic alphabet was the third letter set produced by the Spacerite Company, and one of only 3 produced before the patent for the spacing method was received by the company in 1926. The first designed being the Classic Roman, followed by the Modified Roman, and lastly by the Round Corner Gothic.
The designer of the alphabet was likely Timothy Jellow, who was the creator of the Spaerite system and is believed to have also designed the Classic and Modified Roman alphabets.
The geometry used is nearly the same as the later Splayed Corner Gothic, but with fully rounded corners. The alphabet contains the typical commercial gothic style, which is not highly distinguishable from one to the next because of its simplicity. The tail of ‘Q’, however is noticeably thinner than the rest of the strokes of the letters and does not cross into the counter. The notched ‘1’, which distinguishes it from the letter ‘I’ is also a feature of most Gothic fonts in the memorial industry, but not always used outside of it.
The alphabet was originally produced with no ‘Q’, as stencil cutters were expected to add their own tail to ‘O’ – though a ‘Q’ was later added. No punctuation was originally produced, and though it may have been designed later none has been found by the MLC for the original Spacerite sets. Because the Splayed Corner Gothic shares the basic geometry of the Round Corner Gothic and did come with punctuation, its ampersand, period, and dash were used as the starting point – but the MLC rounded the corners to match.