Born in 1706 in Worcestershire, England, John Baskerville began engraving tombstones and working as a calligrapher at an early age. By 1750 Baskerville had built up a reasonable personal fortune working outside the typographic fields. At this time he took up printing and typefounding as a hobby. In an effort to improve on the designs of William Caslon, Baskerville created transitional typefaces as he bridged between oldstyle typefaces and what would become modern typefaces.