Comic Sans was An alternative history... 4305
It was originally a Monotype design, long before "desktop publishing". MS went to Monotype for their "PostScript-alikes", Arial, Courier New*, and Times New Roman, and (iirc) regularised the widths to match Adobe's Linotype licensed (but poorly digitised) Times and Helvetica that went into the LaserWriter ROMs (there was undoubtedly some cross-licensing since Linotype went on to build the first PostScript imagesetters, the L100, L300 and so on).
ChenHo Encoding... In 1964
Probably not, but a sentence in the article by Amdahl, Blaauw, and Brooks in the IBM Journal of Research and Development wherein the architecture of the IBM System-360 is discussed holds out...
Courier was originally an IBM design for typewriters. The only decent digital version for a long time was Bitstream's. Adobe's "stroked Courier" from the original 13 ROM'd PS fonts is unmentionably awful. It's hardly an excuse, but no doubt they were desperate to save VM space, the LaserWriters were rather RAM-starved.
The other member of the "base 13", Symbol was probably concocted by Linotype to Adobe's order, from various international alphabets and pi cuts they had lying around (Greek Times, for instance).
Zapf Dingbats is from International Typeface Corporation, of course, which (like all ITC faces) existed in precise digital form (IKARUS) in the 1970s. Rather than using that data, indications are that Adobe redigitised their ITC licensed faces quickly and haphazardly; perhaps some of them have been improved since. Bitstream's ITC families are-were generally more complete and of better quality.
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