Stark ,

Flickr is a great database to see the lens and film combinations. I dont know what lens you are using , which enlarger lens you are using but flickr will give you a chance to bet.
Yes , 40 years ago , magazines were 6 times thicker and they were printing excellent bw pictures with best possible lens , film , developer , photographer and magazine printing techniques.
Tri X is around more than 50 years and I really find it excellent when looking back to my Popular Photography and other British Magazines.
But I accept some of the characteristics are excellent with Ilford .
Buy 5 different rolls from a distributor and make a several tests.
From an observation , Some people uses Leica and say my Nikon is better !!!!
If you are not blind , you will see the different qualities. Or this test will help you to recover from blindness.

Welcome to APUG and We are ever your friends.