American fraktur is a reflection of an old European tradition of illuminated manuscripts. Fraktur was popular among the Pennsylvania Germans from about 1790 to the mid 1830s. Technically, fraktur is an ornate type of written or printed German, similar to Gothic lettering in English. The documents themselves are sometimes called Frakturs, even if they have no fraktur lettering, such as the one shown. By the late 1700s, prepared fraktur were printed and sold. The user would only have to fill in the desired information.