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Serif Fours Look a Lot Like Nines

Fascinating little anecdote about how The New York Times’ issue number was off by 500 for more than a century. Rebecca J. Rosen for The Atlantic:

It’s easy enough to imagine the scene: A worker, late at night, setting the paper’s front-page type. He takes out the type from the preceding day’s paper. He looks at the issue number—14,499—and adds one. He gets 15,000.

Perhaps he misread the number, and thought he saw 14,999 in its place. Or perhaps he’d had a long night, and just wasn’t thinking straight. Who knows? What we know is that he put 15,000 as the issue number for the next day, and nobody noticed.

And nobody noticed the next day, nor the next day, nor the next.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014