American typefounding agglomeration formed in 1892, eventually containing most of the American typefounding industry. ATF owns the rights to one of the world’s greatest libraries of original typefaces, largely directed and created by Morris Fuller Benton.
Foundries that were incorporated into ATF include: Barnhart Brothers & Spindler (1911); Binny & Ronaldson (1892); Boston Type Foundry (1892); Bruce Type Foundry (1901); Central Type Foundry (1893); Farmer, Little & Co. (1892); Inland Type Foundry (1912).
By the 1920s ATF was the dominant player in the world’s printing equipment market. Not just fonts, but entire printing plants were on offer. This strong position did not continue, due to the ever-changing nature of the printing industry.
Kingsley, a manufacturer of imprinting and marking equipment, acquired ATF in 1986, and the type division became Kingsley/ATF Type Corporation. The foundry closed in 1993 with an ingominious backruptcy auction. These days the only sign of ATF fonts is in licensing deals with experienced digital foundries such as Bitstream and Adobe.
There were attempts to regain their lost position at the forefront of the type industry, including an interesting attempt to get PostScript Type 3 fonts to handle optical size differences.