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Title: Will Bradley, His Chap Book
Author: Bradley, William Aspenwall
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Typophile Chap Books: 30



WILL BRADLEY
HIS CHAP BOOK


[Illustration]


AN ACCOUNT, IN THE WORDS OF THE
DEAN OF AMERICAN TYPOGRAPHERS, OF
HIS GRAPHIC ARTS ADVENTURES: AS BOY
PRINTER IN ISHPEMING; ART STUDENT
IN CHICAGO; DESIGNER, PRINTER AND
PUBLISHER AT THE WAYSIDE PRESS; THE
YEARS AS ART DIRECTOR IN PERIODICAL
PUBLISHING, AND THE INTERLUDES OF
STAGE, CINEMA AND AUTHORSHIP



New York: The Typophiles
1955

The special contents
of this edition are
copyright 1955
by Paul A. Bennett
for the Typophiles
     *   *   *
Printed in the
United States of America



[Illustration]



AN INTRODUCTION


THIS IS A DIFFICULT TASK. _I agreed to write an introduction to_ Will
Bradley, His Chap Book _before I had seen the book’s text itself. Now
I have encountered here the gaiety, courage, vitality of this man
who romped like a breeze through American graphic arts for several
decades--and I feel that my part should be little more than the opening
of a door to this perennial springtime freshness._

_But still there is something to talk about that he, modest man,
hasn’t even mentioned. And that is the impact of his work on his time.
It should be talked about, because it is hard to realize today, in
our state of emancipation, what a closed and stuffy room Bradley
entered--and opened to the sun and air._

_Across the Atlantic, the Nineteenth Century was bursting its seams:
Morris failing to revive medievalism but startling his world with a
revival of fine craftsmanship; Beardsley, the Yellow Book and their_
avant garde _galaxy startling their world in quite a different way;
Toulouse-Lautrec spreading modern art in the kiosks of Paris when only
a handful knew anything about Cezanne, Van Gogh, Seurat; barriers being
demolished everywhere._

_In America, these goings-on were known to a few connoisseurs amid a
vast indifference. It was Bradley in the Nineties who made the American
public stir in its sleep and at least crack an eye. In the next decade
he and the many who followed him were well advanced in the lively
morning of a day that isn’t over yet._

_There were derivative traces in Bradley’s early work--and whose
hasn’t?--but when he hit his stride it wasn’t Europe’s leadership he
followed. He discovered American colonial typography, bold and free,
and from that springboard he took off into a career of non-archaic,
non-repetitive, exuberant and exhilarating design. In its way it was
as American as the Declaration of Independence. In this field we have
never had any more indigenous art than Bradley’s._

_He was a native, corn-fed American in another way, too. It was a time
when Kelmscott House had set a pattern, and the only pious ambition
for a serious typographic designer was to produce meticulous limited
editions for equally limited collectors. Bradley may have had some
such idea in mind when he started the Wayside Press, but thank God
it didn’t work. There was a lusty, democratic ambition in that slight
body, and it thrilled him to speak to thousands, even millions, instead
of just scores. The turbulent current of American commercial and
industrial life appealed to him more than any exquisite backwater._

_So he spread his work over magazines, newspapers, the advertising
of such houses as the Strathmore Paper Company, his own lively
but not limited publications, even the movies. So he enormously
enriched our arts; and he smashed more false fronts and took more
liberties--successfully--than anyone has done before or since._

_Now his retirement has lasted almost as long as his active career.
His work has been absorbed into our culture so completely that many of
the young men cavorting brilliantly in his wake today are scarcely
aware of their debt to him--the pioneer and pacemaker. They should
be--he is aware of them: he closes here with chuckling praises of the
fine, free-handed job they are doing. There was always a giant’s spirit
in this powerful little man, and it’s as strong and generous now as
it ever was. My memory is long enough that I can say for all these
latecomers, “Thank you no end for everything, Will Bradley.”_

                                                    WALTER DORWIN TEAGUE

  _New York
  May, 1954_



Will Bradley, His Chap Book



[Illustration]



THE BOY PRINTER OF ISHPEMING


It is graduation day in the little brown schoolhouse on Baltimore
Street in Lynn, Massachusetts, just outside Boston. Miss Parrot is the
teacher--a dear! You are six years old; next month you will be seven.
The blackboard is covered with chalk drawings: sailboats, steamboats,
ferryboats, trains of cars, houses, people and animals. You are the
artist. Your mamma, with other mammas, is sitting on the platform,
proud of her Willie--who is probably plenty proud of himself.

Lynn is a shoe town. This is 1875. Most of the work is done by hand.
The employees are all natives--Universalists and Unitarians, probably.
Many women work at home, binding uppers and tongues of high, lace
shoes. You have a little express wagon. You carry finished work back to
the factories and return with a supply of unfinished. For each trip you
are paid five cents. With your savings you buy a printing press. It is
the kind you place on a table and slap with the palm of your hand. In
business offices it is used to stamp date lines. Your father is drawing
cartoons for a Lynn daily--perhaps the _Daily Item_. He brings you a
box of pi. When you succeed in finding a few letters of the same font
you file them to fit the type slot in the press.

Your father is ill, an aftermath of the Civil War. You have moved to
the section called Swampscott. This is too far away for you to attend
the school to which your class has gone. Your mother goes out every
day to do dress-making. A playmate takes you to his school. But most
of the time you remain at home with your father. He tells you he
hasn’t long to live, says you have been a good boy and that when you
grow up you will want to be an artist and there will be no money for
your education. He gives you much fine advice which you never forget.
Then he sends you out to play. You go to Fisherman’s Beach and watch
the fishermen take lobsters out of the boiling pot. They give you the
little ones the law forbids selling. You crack them on a rock, and have
a feast. Sunday mornings, or occasionally on a Saturday night, you go
to the baker’s and get your warm pot of baked beans and buy a loaf of
brown-bread--always an event of delicious anticipation. Between meals,
when you are hungry, there is often a cold cod-fish cake to be found in
the pantry.

Your mother and you are now alone in the world and you are on the
“Narrow Gauge” on your way to Boston. You are sucking a “picklelime,”
always found in glass jars at the candy counter of every railroad and
ferry waiting room. It will be made to last until you reach Boston and
are at the Park Street corner of the Common watching the Punch and Judy
show while your mother is shopping. At noon you sit in a booth and eat
clam chowder at a restaurant on Corn Hill. After the meal your mother
takes you to a wholesale house where she has a friend. Here you are
bought a suit of clothes.

“But isn’t it too big, Mamma?”

“Yes, dear; but children grow very fast and soon it will fit you--and
Mamma can’t afford to buy you a new suit every year.”


And now you are on your way to Northern Michigan, where your mother
has a sister whose husband is paymaster at the Lake Superior Iron
Mine. En route you stop at Providence where you are intrigued by the
teams of twenty or more horses that pull freight cars through the
downtown districts. You think it would be fine to be a teamster. At
Thompsonville, Connecticut, you go to school for a few weeks. On circus
day you are allowed to have a vacation. You ride a pony in the parade
and ask your mother if you can’t join the circus and ride in the
parades every day.

It is your first day in the little mining town of Ishpeming. You are
standing in the middle of the road watching children going home from
school; the girls giggle, the boys laugh at the new boy in a too-big
suit. One little girl has cute pigtails. You like her. You are now
quite grown up, nearly ten. At a Sunday-school picnic you tell the
little girl you are someday going back to Boston and learn to be an
artist. You ask her to wait for you. She promises. With this important
problem settled you can now give all of your attention to the question
of how you are to get an art education.

In the fall you go to school and somehow manage to pull through. Your
uncle and aunt go for a visit “back East.” Your mother keeps house for
your cousins. Every night when you go to bed you kneel down and ask
God to tell your uncle to bring you a printing press, the kind with
a lever, like the ones shown in the _Youth’s Companion_. Your uncle
brings you an Ingersoll dollar watch.

It is your second year in school. You now have a step-father. He is a
fine man and you like him and he likes you--but of course you can’t
expect him to pay for your art education. You are having trouble with
arithmetic--something in division. Teacher says, “Take your books and
go home, Willie, and remain until you have the correct answer.”

You don’t like arithmetic, anyway.

“Mother,” you ask, “may I go to work and earn money so I can learn to
be an artist?”

Your mother is troubled. Finally she says, “Perhaps it will be for the
best.”


You go to the office of the _Iron Agitator_, that later became _Iron
Ore_. George A. Newett is the owner and editor. This is the George A.
Newett and the newspaper that were later sued for libel by Theodore
Roosevelt. The trial took place in Marquette, Michigan, and Mr.
Roosevelt won a verdict of six cents.

You are put to work washing-up a Gordon press. Then you receive your
first lesson in feeding. There is power, a small engine mounted on an
upright boiler, for the newspaper press. The two jobbers are kicked.
Having half an hour of leisure you learn the lay of a lower-case beside
the window--where you can proudly wave to the schoolchildren as they
are going home to their noon meal. You are now a working man--wages
three dollars a week.

Country newspaper shops train and use local help for straight matter.
For job work, ads and presswork they depend upon itinerant job
printers, who seldom remain as long as six months in any one town.
When the _Iron Ore_ job printer leaves you are sorry. He has been a
kind and patient teacher. You are now twelve. Mr. Newett employs a new
devil and you set jobs, advertising display, make up the paper and are
responsible for all presswork. Your wages are increased to six dollars
a week. When the motor power fails, as it does frequently, you go out
on the street and employ off-shift miners to operate the press by means
of a crank attached to the flywheel.

At this early date the print shop is above a saloon and in one corner
of a big barn of a room that had been a lodge hall. In winter it is
heated (?) with one stove. You go to work at seven and quit at six. The
outside temperature is below zero. You and your devil forage in the
snowdrifts of the alley back of the building and “borrow” packing boxes
to get kindling for the stove and boiler.

The _Peninsula Record_, across the street, is a four-page tabloid. It
is printed one page at a time on a large Gordon. The owner and editor
is John D. West. He offers you eight dollars a week. You are not that
important to Mr. Newett--and the extra two dollars will enable you to
begin saving after paying board and buying your clothes.

In a few months _Iron Ore_ moves into a new store-building. You
are now thirteen and Mr. Newett offers you ten dollars a week and
the acknowledged position of job printer. At fourteen this wage is
increased to twelve. At fifteen you are spoken of as foreman and are
receiving fifteen dollars a week--in ’85 a man’s wages.


This is the early Eighties. Small towns such as Ishpeming are “easy
pickings” for traveling fakers. Their advance is always heralded by the
exchanges. They clean up at the expense of local merchants. All editors
warn them to keep away. _Iron Ore_ print shop is on the ground floor.
The editor’s sanctum is at the front. His desk is at the big window. It
is nearly nine o’clock on a Friday night--“make-up” time. Mr. Newett
has written his last sheets of copy and is reading proof. At the corner
of Main and Division, diagonally across from the office, a faker is
selling soap. In one wrapper he pretends to place a five dollar bill--a
version of the “old army game.” He is standing in a market wagon and
has a companion who strums a guitar and sings. Attached to an upright
and above his head is a kerosene flare. Mr. Newett walks leisurely
to where there are several guns and fishing rods in a corner. He
is an inveterate sportsman in a land where game, deer and fish, is
plentiful. Selecting a rifle he walks to the door and casually puts a
bullet through the kerosene tank, then returns to his proof reading.
Thoroughly likable, this pioneer editor--a fine boss, a true friend!

You and a compositor now have control of the town bill posting. When
there are no theater or patent medicine ads to put up you cover the
boards with blank newsprint and letter and picture advertisements for
the stores.

You are sixteen, almost seventeen. A sheet of newsprint is tacked on
the printing-office wall and, using marking ink and a brush, you are
picturing and lettering a masquerade poster for the roller rink.

“Who is this young artist?”

The speaker is Frank Bromley, a well-known landscape painter from
Chicago.

You tell him about your father and that you are going back to Boston to
study art. He suggests your stopping off in Chicago to see him. Says he
can perhaps help you.

You are nearly seventeen and already you have saved more than fifty
dollars. By the early fall you have four twenty-dollar gold pieces
under your socks in the top till of your trunk. Wages are always paid
in gold and silver. You are now ready to start for Chicago. Two weeks
later you are on your way.



[Illustration]



FIRST SOJOURN IN CHICAGO


The artist has a studio near the McVickar Theater on Madison Street.
It is the typical atelier of the Victorian Eighties: oriental drapes,
screens and pottery. Jules Guerin, then an art student and later a
contributor to _Century_, _Harper’s_ and _Scribner’s_, is clearing up
and tidying for the day.

Mr. Bromley takes you to Lyon & Healy. Yes, Mr. Lyon, or maybe it
was Mr. Healy, can start you as an apprentice. However, a young man
beginning a career should be most careful in making his selection. You
have been careful. You want to be an artist. But the business of Lyon &
Healy is musical instruments, not art.

Next morning you are introduced to Mr. Rand, or Mr. McNally. A Mr.
Martin then sends you upstairs, a couple of flights, to Mr. Robinson
in the designing and engraving department. Beginners do not receive
any pay, but you are put to work at a long table facing a row of
windows and with yards and yards of unbleached cotton-cloth stretched
on a wire at your back. You are now learning to engrave tints on
wood-blocks--under the erroneous impression that designers and
illustrators engrave their own blocks.

Mr. Bromley has found a room for you at the home of a friend, an art
dealer. It is at Vincennes Avenue and Fifty-ninth Street. You walk to
and from Rand McNally’s, located on Monroe Street, dreaming happily.

One morning, after a few weeks of getting nowhere, for you are no
master of tint-cutting, it percolates through your skull that inasmuch
as wood-engravers never seem to be doing any designing probably
designers never do any engraving.

A momentous discovery, this, for you have broken into your last
twenty-dollar gold piece--as a matter of fact there is just about
enough left to pay for taking your trunk to the depot and to buy a
second-class ticket back to that printing shop in Northern Michigan.

“Sometime, if you care to come back,” states Mr. Robinson, in a letter
which must have been written immediately after your departure, “and if
you will remain half an hour later in the evening and sweep out, and
come in a half hour earlier in the morning and dust, Rand McNally will
pay you three dollars a week.”



[Illustration]



SECOND SOJOURN IN CHICAGO


A few months later, when you have just turned into your eighteenth year
and have saved sixty dollars, three twenty-dollar gold pieces, it is
time to return to Chicago. You tell Mr. Newett. He wishes you well and
says that if you care to remain with _Iron Ore_ he will take you into
partnership when you are twenty. This is a big temptation. You admire
and like your boss. He is a grand person--your idol. Saying goodbye
involves a wrench.

You are now back with R-M staying half an hour at night and getting to
work a half hour earlier in the morning and all is well with the world.

At the time of your first visit to Chicago, line photo-engraving was
not even a whisper, and halftones were not even dreams. On your second
visit, pen drawings are beginning to receive direct reproduction.


Folding machines are unknown; and in a large loft, at long tables,
dozens upon dozens of girls are hand-folding railroad timetables.
This loft is on a level with the designing department. Between the
two there is a brick wall through which, about two feet up from the
floor, has been cut an opening in which there is a heavy, tin-covered
sliding door. When you take 14 × 22 metal plates down to the foundry
to be routed--by someone else, for you don’t like machines--you pass
through this loft, between the girl-adorned tables. You, in turn, are
adorned with the side-whiskers known as mutton-chops--trying to look
older than your years. Also, in accord with the custom of the times,
you wear tight-fitting pants. One day, in returning from the foundry
with a metal plate on your shoulder, you pull back the sliding door and
when you lift one leg to step through the opening the pants rip where
the cloth is tightest. On another occasion when again carrying a plate
on your shoulder your jacket pocket catches on a key at the end of a
paper-cutter shaft and the shoddy that had once proved so disastrous in
your pants now probably averts a serious accident.

Web presses and automatic feeders are also absent. In the basement at
Rand McNally’s there is a battery of drum-cylinders printing James S.
Kirk “American Family Soap” wrappers. The stock is thin, red-glazed
paper, and the sheets a double 24 × 36, or perhaps even larger. You
marvel at the skill with which boys do the feeding; but even greater
is your wonder at the hand-jogging and cutting of these slippery and
flimsy sheets.

Invitations are sent out for an inspection of the composing-room of
the _Chicago Herald_, now newly equipped throughout with Hamilton
labor-saving furniture. You attend. Compositors are sticking type for
the next edition. A little later the _Herald_ places on display its
first web press. This showing is in a ground-floor room, a step or
two down from the street, next door to the Chicago Opera House, where
Kiralphry’s _Black Crook_ is now playing and Eddie Foy is putting
audiences in “stitches.” The press is a single unit standing in a
shallow pit surrounded by a brass rail.


Comes now the winter. It is a Saturday. You are at the home of your
boss. He has invited you to spend the afternoon learning how to paint.
His easel is set up in the basement dining room. He is talking to you
about religion, gravely concerned at learning that you sometimes
attend the Universalist church. He believes you to be a heathen
and suggests that you become converted and join a fundamentalist
church--says that as long as you remain outside the fold and thus are
not a Christian he cannot be interested in helping you become an artist.

The dear man! He wants so much to save your soul. Meanwhile, his good
wife is laying the table for their evening meal. Her smile is motherly.
Maybe she has guessed you were counting the plates. Pleasant odors come
from the kitchen. Our gracious host brings your coat, helps you put it
on, hands you your hat, opens the door and you step out into a Chicago
snowstorm.

At this point the script calls for slow music and heart-rending
sobs--another Kate Claxton in the _Two Orphans_. Also for melodrama!
This is a beautiful snowstorm. The evening is mild and the flakes are
big. They sail lazily through the amber light of the street lamps,
feather the bare branches of trees that print a fantastic pattern
against the red-brick housefronts. The drifts must be at least an inch
deep. And tomorrow ... tomorrow, you will, as always happens on Sunday,
go to a restaurant on Clark Street where you will be served two pork
tenderloins, flanked by a mound of mashed potatoes topped with gravy,
and one other vegetable, and supplemented by bread and butter and a cup
of coffee--all for twenty cents. Joy bells ringing!


A couple of weeks later you are standing at a case in the printing
plant of Knight & Leonard. Mr. Leonard happens to be passing. He stops
and glances at your galley, type arrangement for a catalog cover.
He is interested and asks where you learned job composition. In one
graphically condensed paragraph, dramatically composed, for it has
been prepared in advance in anticipation of this much wished-for
opportunity, you tell the story of your life--and make a momentous
proposition.

The next morning you are seated at a flat-top desk in the second-floor
office. You have your drawing material and are designing a new booklet
cover for the stationery department of A. C. McClurg. It is understood
that when orders for drawing fail you will fill in by setting type.


Now you are, at nineteen, a full-fledged designer and working at a
window opposite Spalding’s. On playing days you watch Pop Anson and his
be-whiskered team enter a barge and depart for the ball park.

One day a young man appears at K & L’s with proofs of halftone
engravings. He has been with the Mathews Northrup Press in Buffalo,
where he had learned the process. He is now starting an engraving plant
in Chicago. K & L print some specimen sheets on coated paper. These
are probably the first halftones ever engraved in Chicago, also the
first printing of halftones. K & L are Chicago’s leading commercial
printers, quality considered. Mr. Knight is a retired Board of Trade
operator. Mr. Leonard is the practical printer. He is also the father
of Lillian Russell. Once, when she is appearing in Chicago, Miss
Russell visits at the office. You are thrilled.

A man, trained in Germany, grinds ink for K & L. He is located on the
floor above the office. You occasionally visit him. He gives you much
good advice. The _Inter Ocean_, located on the next corner, installs a
color press. The K & L ink expert helps get out the first edition.

For two years or more you occupy that desk and never again see the
composing room. During this period, while receiving twenty-four dollars
a week, you marry that young lady of your ten-year-old romance.

The J. M. W. Jeffery Co., show printers, is turning out some swell
posters designed by Will Crane. They are printed from wood-blocks
and are wonders. An artist by the name of Frank Getty is designing
labels in the Chicago sales-office of the Crump Label Company. They
are a glorious departure from the conventional truck of the label
lithographers.

Joe Lyendecker is designing covers in color for paper-bound novels.
They are gorgeous. There are no art magazines or other publications
helpful to designers. You, like others, have a scrap-book made up of
booklet covers, cards and other forms of advertising. A designer by
the name of Bridwell is doing some thrilling work for Mathews Northrup
in Buffalo, a concern that is setting a stiff pace for other railroad
printers. Abbey, Parsons, Smedley, Frost and Pennell, and Charles
Graham in _Harper’s Weekly_, are models for all illustrators.

You are now free-lancing and making designs for Mr. Kasten of the
McClurg stationery department. You have a studio in the new Caxton
building on Dearborn Street. You work all of one day and night and part
of the next day on some drawings for Mr. Kasten. He comes to get them
at four o’clock on the afternoon before Christmas. You tell him you
haven’t eaten since the previous night.

He takes you and your drawings in a cab and stops at a saloon in the
McVickar Theater building and buys you an egg nog. “Drink this,” he
says. “It will put you on your feet until you reach home and can get
dinner.” It is only a glass of milk and egg--and looks harmless. You
get on the Madison Street horse-car, and take a seat up front. There is
straw on the floor to keep your feet warm. You promptly go to sleep.
The car bumps across some tracks and you wake long enough to know your
stop is only two blocks away. In getting off the car the straw tangles
your feet and you seem to be falling over everyone. The sidewalk is not
wide enough for you. This being a new section, the planks are a foot or
more above the ground. You walk in the road.


In these early Nineties no cash is needed to buy a printing outfit,
just an agreement to pay a monthly installment. You buy a Golding
press, a type-stand, a small stone and a few cases of Caslon and an
English text. You are probably itching to play a little with printing.
You do not find time to do more than lay the type. A letter comes from
your wife’s sister in South Dakota. It states that a neighbor’s son or
brother, or some near relative, is in Chicago, that he is interested
in art, and it asks will you look him up. He is a bookkeeper and
cashier in a ground-floor real-estate office at the corner of Clark and
Dearborn. His name is Fred Goudy. He wants to get into the printing
business, in a small way. You tell him of your small outfit and that he
can have it and the benefit of payments made if he will assume future
installments. He agrees.



[Illustration]



THE GAY NINETIES


Chicago a phoenix city risen from the ashes of its great fire;
downtown business buildings two, three and four stories high, more
of former than latter, few a little higher, elevators a rare luxury;
across the river many one-story stores and shops with signs in large
lettering, pioneer style, on their false fronts; streets paved with
granite blocks echo to the rumble of iron-tired wheels and the clank
of iron-shod hoofs; a continuous singing of steel car-cables on State
Street and Wabash Avenue; horse-drawn cross-town cars thickly carpeted
with straw in winter; outlying residential streets paved with cedar
blocks; avenues boasting asphalt. Bonneted women with wasp waists, leg
o’ mutton sleeves, bustles, their lifted, otherwise dust-collecting,
skirts revealing high-buttoned shoes and gaily-striped stockings; men
in brown derbies, short jackets, high-buttoned waist-coats, tight
trousers without cuffs and, when pressed, without pleats; shirts
with Piccadilly collars and double-ended cuffs of detachable variety
(story told of how a famous author’s hero, scion of an old house,
when traveling by train, saw a beautiful young lady, undoubtedly of
aristocratic birth, possibly royal, and wanting to meet her, love at
first sight, object matrimony, first retires, with true blue-blood
gentility, to wash-room and reverses cuffs. Romance, incident
ruthlessly deleted by publisher, proves a best seller). Black walnut
furniture upholstered in hair-cloth, pride of many a Victorian parlor,
is gradually being replaced by golden oak and ash; painters’ studios,
especially portrait variety, are hung with oriental rugs and littered
with oriental screens and pottery. High bicycles, the Columbia with
its little wheel behind and the Star with the little wheel in front,
soon to disappear, are still popular. Low wheels, called “safeties,”
are beginning to appear, occasionally ridden by women wearing bloomers.
Pneumatic tires unknown.

Recognized now as a period of over-ornamentation and bad taste, the
Nineties were nevertheless years of leisurely contacts, kindly advice
and an appreciative pat on the back by an employer, and certainly a
friendly bohemianism seldom known in the rush and drive of today.

Eugene Field has just returned from a vacation in Europe and in his
column, _Sharps and Flats_, Chicago is reading the first printing of
_Wynken, Blynken and Nod_. Way & Williams, publishers, have an office
on the floor below my studio. Irving Way, who would barter his last
shirt for a first edition, his last pair of shoes for a volume from the
Kelmscott Press of William Morris, is a frequent and always stimulating
visitor.

“Will,” says Irving, “be over at McClurg’s some noon soon, in Millard’s
rare book department, the ‘Amen Corner.’ Field will be there, and
Francis Wilson, who is appearing at McVickar’s in _The Merry Monarch_,
and other collectors. Maybe there’ll be an opportunity for me to
introduce you--and Francis Wilson might ask you to do a poster.”

I go to the Press Club occasionally with Nixon Waterman, the columnist
who was later to write his oft-quoted, “A rose to the living is more,
If graciously given before The slumbering spirit has fled, A rose to
the living is more Than sumptuous wreaths to the dead.” We sit at
table with Opie Read, the well-loved humorist; Ben King, who wrote the
delightful lament, “Nothing to eat but food, nowhere to go but out”;
Stanley Waterloo, who wrote _The Story of Ab_ and, with Luders, the
musical comedy, _Prince of Pilsen_, and other newspaper notables whose
names I have forgotten.

Two panoramas, _Gettysburg_ and _Shiloh_, are bringing welcome wages to
landscape and figure painters who will soon migrate to St. Joe across
the lake and return in the fall with canvases to be hung at the Art
Institute’s annual show.

Only one topic on every tongue--the coming World’s Fair.


Herbert Stone is at Harvard. He and his classmate, Ingalls Kimball,
quickened with enthusiasm and unable to await their graduation, have
formed the publishing company of Stone & Kimball. On paper bearing two
addresses, Harvard Square, Cambridge, and Caxton Building, Chicago,
Herbert commissions a cover, title-page, page decorations and a poster
for _When Hearts Are Trumps_, a book of verse by Tom Hall--my first
book assignment. This pleasing recognition from a publishing house
is followed by a meeting with Harriet Monroe and a Way & Williams
commission for a cover and decorations for the _Columbian Ode_.


Your studio is now in the Monadnock building. It is the year of the
World’s Fair. You have an exhibit that has entitled you to a pass. Jim
Corbett is in a show on the Midway. When he is not on the stage you
can see him parading on the sidewalks. Buffalo Bill is appearing in a
Wild West show. An edition of _Puck_ is being printed in one of the
exhibition buildings.

You design a cover for a Chicago and Alton Railroad folder. The drawing
goes to Rand McNally for engraving and printing. Mr. Martin asks
you to come and see him. His salary offer is flattering. But, aside
from Bridwell’s designs at Mathews Northrup’s in Buffalo, railroad
printing is in a long-established rut, void of imagination. You prefer
free-lancing. Later Mr. Martin buys the K & L plant. Herbert Rogers,
the former bookkeeper, establishes his own plant and you hope he will
continue the K & L tradition.

Mr. McQuilkin, editor of _The Inland Printer_, commissions a permanent
cover. When the design is finished I ask:

“Why not do a series of covers--a change of design with each issue?”

“Can’t afford them.”

“How about my making an inducement in the way of a tempting price?”

“I’ll take the suggestion to Shephard.”

Suggestion approved by Henry O. Shephard, printer and publisher, and
the series is started--an innovation, the first occasion when a monthly
magazine changes its cover design with each issue. One cover, nymph in
pool, is later reproduced in London _Studio_. Another, a Christmas
cover, has panel of lettering that four American and one German foundry
immediately begin to cut as a type. Later the American Type Founders
Company, paying for permission, names the face “Bradley.”

A poster craze is sweeping the country. Only _signed_ copies are
desired by collectors and to be shown in exhibitions. Designs by French
artists: Toulouse-Lautrec, Chéret, Grasset, etc., some German and a few
English, dominate displays. Edward Penfield’s _Harper’s Monthly_ and my
_Chap-Book_ designs are only American examples at first available.

Will Davis, manager of the Columbia Theater, has just completed the
Haymarket, out on West Madison at Halstead. You design and illustrate
the opening-night souvenir booklet. This you do for Mr. Kasten, of
McClure’s. Thus you meet Mr. Davis. He introduces you to Dan Frohman
who commissions you to design a twenty-eight sheet stand for his
brother, Charles, who is about to open the new Empire Theater in New
York. So you design a poster for _The Masqueraders_, by Henry Arthur
Jones. This is probably the first _signed_ theatrical poster produced
by any American lithographer. Then Dan suggests that you visit New
York. You do, and meet Charles. Dan takes you to the Players for lunch.
There you see show-bills set in Caslon. They influence all of your
future work in the field of typography.


We now move to Geneva, Illinois, and I have my studio in a cottage
overlooking the beautiful Fox River.

Holiday covers for _Harper’s Weekly_, _Harper’s Bazaar_, _Harper’s
Young People_, later named _Harper’s Roundtable_, page decorations for
_Vogue_, a series of full-page designs for Sunday editions of _Chicago
Tribune_, Herbert Stone’s _Chap-Book_ article and other favorable
publicity--plucking me long before I am ripe, cultivate a lively pair
of gypsy heels; and believing myself, perhaps excusably, equal to
managing a printing business, editing and publishing an art magazine,
designing covers and posters, I return to Boston, then settle in
Springfield, start the Wayside Press, and publish _Bradley: His Book_.



[Illustration]



SPRINGFIELD: THE WAYSIDE PRESS


Typography, with nothing to its credit following Colonial times, had
reached a low ebb during the Victorian period; and by the mid-Nineties
typefounders were casting and advertising only novelty faces void of
basic design--apparently giving printers what they wanted; while,
adding emphasis to bad taste in type faces, compositors were never
content to use one series throughout any given piece of display but
appeared to be finding joy in mixing as many as possible.

During the Colonial period printers were restricted to Caslon in roman
and italic, and an Old English Text. What gave me my love for Caslon
and the Old English Text called Caslon Black I do not know. It may have
happened in the Ishpeming print shop where I worked as a boy, or it
may have come as a result of some incident or series of incidents that
occurred later and are not now remembered. At any rate, for many years
I knew nothing about the history of types or the derivation of type
design and probably thought of “Caslon” as merely a trade designation
of the typefounder, and my early preference for the face may have been
merely that of a compositor who found joy in its use--_as I always
have_.

One day in 1895, while busy with the establishment of the Wayside Press
in Springfield, Massachusetts, I was inspired by some quickening of
interest to make a special trip to Boston and visit the Public Library.
There I was graciously permitted access to the Barton collection of
books printed in New England during the Colonial period; and, thrilled
beyond words, I thus gained some knowledge of Caslon’s noble ancestry.
The books were uncatalogued and stacked in fireproof rooms which were
called the “Barton Safes.” I was allowed to carry volumes to a nearby
gallery above the reference room, where, at conveniently arranged
lecterns along an iron balustrade, I examined them at my leisure and
was given the outstanding typographic experience of my life.

Such gorgeous title-pages! I gloated over dozens of them, making
pencil memoranda of type arrangements and pencil sketches of wood-cut
head and tail pieces and initials. Using Caslon roman with italic in
a merry intermingling of caps and lower case, occasionally enlivened
with a word or a line in Caslon Black, and sometimes embellished with
a crude wood-cut decoration depicting a bunch or basket of flowers,
and never afraid to use types of large size, the compositors of these
masterly title-pages have given us refreshing examples of a typography
that literally sparkles with spontaneity and joyousness. Apparently
created stick-in-hand at the case, and unbiased by hampering trends and
rules, here are honest, direct, attention-compelling examples of type
arrangements reflecting the care-free approach of compositors merrily
expressing personalities void of the self-consciousness and inhibitions
that always tighten up and mar any mere striving for effect.

This Colonial typography, void of beauty-destroying mechanical
precision, is the most direct, honest, vigorous and imaginative America
has ever known--a sane and inspiring model that was to me a liberal
education and undoubtedly the finest influence that could come to me at
this time--1895.


I now become a member of the newly formed Arts and Crafts Society of
Boston, possibly a charter member, and contribute two or three cases
and a few frames of Wayside Press printing to the society’s first
exhibition in Copley Hall. This showing wins flattering approval
from reviewers--laughter from printers who comment: “Bradley must
be crazy if he thinks buyers of printing are going to fall for that
old-fashioned Caslon type.”

At this time the Caslon mats, imported from England, are in possession
of one or two branches of the American Type Founders, probably those
in New York and Boston, possibly the Dickenson Foundry in Boston.
Less than a year after my original receipt of body sizes of Caslon
in shelf-faded and fly-specked packages, these foundries cannot keep
pace with orders and it is found necessary to take the casting off the
slow “steamers” and transfer mats to the main plant in Communipaw, New
Jersey, where they can be adapted to fast automatic type-casters. Here
additional sizes are cut and a new series, Lining Caslon, is in the
works--and, with novelty faces no longer in demand, foundries outside
the combine, not possessing mats, are hurrying cutting.


“_When the tide is at the lowest, ’tis but nearest to the turn._”

That quotation certainly applies to the year 1895 that had started
with so little to its credit in the annals of commercial printing and
in which we were now witnessing an encouraging æsthetic awakening
in the kindred field of publishing. Choice little volumes printed
on deckle-edge papers were coming from those young book-making
enthusiasts--Stone and Kimball in Chicago and Copeland and Day in
Boston--and were attracting wide attention and winning well-earned
acclaim. Also there were the Kelmscott Press hand-printed books of
William Morris, especially his _Chaucer_, set in type of his own
design and gorgeously illustrated by Burne-Jones; the Vale Press books,
designed by Charles Ricketts and for which he also designed the type;
the exotic illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley in John Lane’s _Yellow
Book_, all coming to us from London. Then there was the excitement
occasioned by our own “poster craze,” with its accompanying exhibitions
giving advertisers and the general public an opportunity to see the gay
designs of Chéret and the astounding creations of Lautrec. All these
were indicative of a thought-quickening trend due to have a stimulative
influence in the then fallow field of commercial printing.


The Wayside Press which I opened in this year of transition was so
named for a very real reason. I had worked in Ishpeming and Chicago so
as to earn money to take me back to Boston where I hoped to study and
become an artist, the profession of my father. I had always thought of
printing as being along the wayside to the achieving of my ambition.
And I chose a dandelion leaf as my device because the dandelion is a
wayside growth.

On the main business street in Springfield there was a new office
building called the Phoenix. In two offices on the top floor of the
Phoenix Building I had my studio. Back of the office building there
was a new loft building on the top floor of which I was establishing
my Wayside Press, a corridor connecting it with the top floor of the
Phoenix Building and thus making it easily accessible from my studio.
It was an ideal location, and with windows on two sides and at the
south end insuring an abundance of sunshine, fresh air and light, the
workshop was a cheerful spot and one destined to woo me (probably far
too often) from my studio and my only definitely established source of
income, my designing.

My first Wayside Press printing, before the publication of my magazine,
was a Strathmore deckle-edge sample book. Heretofore all Connecticut
Valley paper-mill samples, regardless of color, texture or quality of
paper, had carried in black ink, usually in the upper corner of each
sheet, information as to size and weight. No attempt had been made to
stimulate sales by showing the printer how different papers might be
used. But one day just after the Press opened, I had a visitor who
changed all that.

I had a bed-ticking apron that had been made for me by my wife,
copying the apron I had worn when at the ages of fifteen to seventeen
I had served as job printer and foreman of that little print shop
in Ishpeming, where I used to proudly stand, type-stick-in-hand, in
the street doorway to enjoy a brief chat with my wife-to-be, then a
school-teacher and my sweetheart, as she was on her way to school.
Wearing that apron, and at the stone, is how and where Mr. Moses of
the Mittineague Paper Company, first of the Strathmore Paper Company
units, found me on the occasion of our first meeting.

In my mind’s eye I can see Mr. Moses now as he entered from the
corridor. He was wearing a navy blue serge suit that emphasized his
slight build and made him appear younger than I had expected. I was
then twenty-seven and undoubtedly thought of myself as quite grown
up, and I marveled that a man seemingly so young should possess the
business knowledge necessary to have put him at the head of an even
then well-known mill. The contrast of that natty blue-serge with my
striped bed-ticking apron should have made me self-conscious. Perhaps
it did; but, filled with the youthful enthusiasm and glorious hopes of
a dreamer, I probably had thoughts for nothing but my new print shop
and publishing. Seeing me unpacking type, my visitor may have thought
my time could have been employed more profitably at my drawing-board,
as of course it could--though in my then frame of mind it could not
have been employed more enjoyably. Displaying samples of his new line,
Mr. Moses asked if I would lay out and print a showing for distribution
to commercial printers and advertisers.

I explained that the Wayside Press was being established for the
printing of _Bradley: His Book_, an art and literary magazine, and for
a few booklets and brochures--publications to which I planned to give
my personal attention throughout all details of production, and that I
had not contemplated undertaking any outside work.

However, after a moment’s brief consideration, I became so intrigued
with the printing possibilities of these new Strathmore papers, their
pleasing colors and tints, together with their being such a perfect, a
literally made-to-order, vehicle for Caslon roman and Caslon Black,
that I enthusiastically agreed to undertake the commission--a decision
for which I shall always feel thankful.

The favorable publicity won by the use of these “old-fashioned” types
on Strathmore papers, convinces me that to attain distinction a
print shop must possess personality and individuality. At any rate,
my continued use of Strathmore papers with appropriate typography
and designs aroused such widespread interest among merchants and
advertisers and brought so many orders for printing that it soon
produced the need for more space. My plant was then moved to a top
loft in a new wing that had been added to the Strathmore mill at
Mittineague, across the river from Springfield.

Caslon types on Strathmore papers having proved so popular, business
was humming. A “Victor” bicycle catalog for the Overman Wheel Company,
involving a long run in two colors on Strathmore book and cover
papers, and an historically-illustrated catalog for the new “Colonial”
flatware pattern of the Towle Silversmiths of Newburyport, for which
Strathmore’s deckle edge papers and Caslon types were strikingly
appropriate, together with the increased circulation of _Bradley: His
Book_, now a much larger format than the original issues, necessitated
the addition of another cylinder press, the largest “Century” then
being made by the Campbell Press Company; and also the employment of an
additional pressman and two additional feeders, and keeping the presses
running nights as well as days, often necessitating my remaining at
the plant throughout the full twenty-four hours--quite a change from
the humble beginnings of the Wayside Press when one “Universal” and
two “Gordon” job presses were believed sufficient for the magazine and
booklet printing then planned.

In this growth of the commercial printing involving lay-outs and
supervision, together with trying to edit and publish an art magazine,
I had waded far beyond my depth. When I was starting my Wayside Press
in Springfield a business man had advised: “Learn to creep before you
try to walk, and learn to walk before you try to run.” I had tried to
run before even learning to creep. Mr. Moses gave me what I am now
sure was much good business advice--but, alas, I was temperamentally
unfitted to listen and learn and, knowing nothing about finances, was
eventually overwhelmed and broke under the strain and had to go away
for a complete rest. With no one trained to carry on in my absence
it was necessary to cease publication of _Bradley: His Book_ and in
order to insure delivery on time of the catalogs and other commercial
printing, forms were lifted from the presses and transferred to the
University Press at Cambridge; and the Wayside Press as a unit,
including name and goodwill and my own services, soon followed--a
hurried and ill-conceived arrangement that eventually proved so
mutually unsatisfactory that I faded out of the picture.

This was a heart-breaking decision for me, and one that but for the
wisdom of my wife and her rare understanding and nursing could have
resulted in a long and serious illness. No printing and publishing
business ever started with finer promise and more youthful enthusiasm
than did the Wayside Press and the publication of _Bradley: His Book_,
that are now just memories.


Among other magazine covers designed during this period there is
one for a Christmas number of _Century_. It brings a request for a
back-cover design. Both designs are in wood-cut style and require four
printings--black and three flat colors. The DeVinne Press, familiar
only with process colors, hesitates to do the printing. That issue
carries a Will Bradley credit. When John Lane imports sheets of the
_Studio_, edits an American supplement and publishes an American
edition, I design the covers.



[Illustration]



INTERLUDE IN NEW YORK


And now we are in the Gay Nineties, the mid Gay Nineties, when a
hair-cloth sofa adorns every parlor and over-decoration is running
riot; when our intelligentsia are reading Anthony Hope’s _Prisoner of
Zenda_, Stanley Weyman’s _Gentlemen of France_ and George McCutcheon’s
_Graustark_; when William Morris is printing _Chaucer_, with
illustrations by Burne-Jones, and Aubrey Beardsley is providing an
ample excuse for the _Yellow Book_; when LeGallienne’s _Golden Girl_ is
brought over here by John Lane and established in a bookshop on lower
Fifth Avenue, and Bliss Carman is singing his songs of rare beauty;
when the Fifth Avenue Hotel and the nearby Algonquin are flourishing
Madison Square hostelries; when Stern’s and McCreery are across the
street from Putnam’s and Eden Musee, and the modern skyscraper is only
an architect’s vague dream.

Into this glad era a young man steps off a Twenty-third Street
horse-car. This young man, now an ambitious designer, printer, editor
and publisher, is yourself.


At the age of twenty-seven you are sporting the encouraging beginnings
of a mustache, still too thin to permit of twirling at the tips. There
is also the brave suggestion of a Vandyke. These embellishments are
brown, as is also true of abundant and wavy hair of artistic and poetic
length. Your waistcoat is buttoned high, and your soft, white collar is
adorned with a five-inch-wide black cravat tied in a flowing bowknot.
Your short jacket and tight-fitting pants quite possibly need pressing.
A black derby and well-polished shoes complete your distinguished
appearance. Many scrubbings have failed to remove all traces of
printing ink from beneath and at the base of your finger nails.

You are on your way to Scribner’s. A few moments later we find you
seated in a leather-upholstered chair in the editorial department of
this famous publishing house. You are waiting patiently and hopefully
while an editor is penning a note of introduction to Richard Harding
Davis, the popular writer of romantic fiction.

Now, the note safely bestowed in your breast pocket, the envelope
showing above a liberal display of silk handkerchief and thus plainly
in view of passing pedestrians who would doubtless be filled with envy
did they but know its contents, you are crossing Madison Square Park on
your way to one of the Twenties, where Mr. Davis has his lodging. You
reach the house, walk up the steps and rap.

“Is Mr. Davis at home? Why ... why you are Mr. Davis. I ... I
didn’t recognize you at first. Seeing you portrayed in Mr. Gibson’s
illustrations to some of your romances--”

“And now seeing me in this bathrobe you naturally were a bit confused?”

“Yes, I was.”

“I’m not at all surprised.”

“Here, Mr. Davis, is a letter, I mean a note introducing me to you.”

“How about coming inside while I read the note?”

“That’s ... that’s what I was hoping you’d say, Mr. Davis.”


And now our favorite romantic author is seated with one leg thrown over
the corner of a table. “Of course. Of course,” he exclaims, cordially,
“I know your posters and your cover designs. And now you are starting a
magazine and you would like one of my stories for your first number?”

“Yes, Mr. Davis. That is what I should like.”

“Of course I’ll write a story for you. I shall be happy to write a
story; and I have one in mind that I think will be just the kind you
will like for your new magazine.”

“Well, Mr. Davis, that’s something that’s just about as wonderful as
anything that could possibly happen to anybody. Only ... only--”

“Only you are not really started and your magazine hasn’t begun to earn
money, and so you are wondering--”

“Yes, Mr. Davis--”

“Well, lad,” and now Mr. Davis has his arm about your shoulders. “Well,
lad, just go home to your Wayside Press print-shop in Springfield and
don’t do any worrying about payment. Sometime when you are rich and
feel like sending me something,--why, any amount you happen to send
will be quite all right with me--and good luck go with you.”

(At this point it should be stated that when a small check goes to Mr.
Davis, with an apology for it being just the first installment and that
another check will go a month later, the return mail brings a pleasant
letter of thanks and an acknowledgment of payment in full.)

And now, as you are recrossing Madison Square Park, your head so high
in the clouds that not even the tips of your toes are touching the
earth, all the birds in the neighborhood, including the sparrows, have
gathered and are singing glad anthems of joy; and all the trees that
an hour ago were just in green leaf are now billowed with beautiful
flowers.

Well, that is that, and of course you are now sitting pretty. But
presently we see you on a Fifth Avenue bus, returning from Fifty-ninth
Street where, in a sumptuous Victorian apartment overlooking Central
Park you have asked William Dean Howells for a story--and on this
incident we will charitably draw the curtain.


Meanwhile _Bradley: His Book_ met with kind reception--advance orders
for the second number being: Brentano’s New York, six hundred copies,
Old Corner Bookstore, Boston, four hundred, etc.; the first issue being
out of print except for the supply being held for new subscribers.
Pratt, Sixth Avenue, New York, sent check to pay for one hundred
subscriptions.

There being no joy in doing today what one did yesterday, or what
another did yesterday; and creative design in which there is no joy
or laughter being of little worth, a new lay-out and change of stock
were provided for each issue of _Bradley: His Book_; the fifth number
started a change of format.

But as a business tycoon Will Bradley was a lamentable failure despite
this auspicious start--a story I have already told.



[Illustration]



NEW FIELDS


At the turn of the century, after saying a sad farewell to fond hopes
and feeling older at thirty-two than is now true at eighty-two, I
finally gave up trying to be a publisher and printer. While covers
for _Collier’s_ were bridging an awkward gap Edward Bok appeared on
the scene and commissioned the laying-out of an editorial prospectus
for the _Ladies’ Home Journal_, the printing to be done at the Curtis
plant. For this I used a special casting of an old face not then on the
market, Mr. Phinney of the Boston branch of ATF telling me it was to be
called Wayside. When the prospectus was finished Mr. Bok invited me
to his home just outside Philadelphia and there it was arranged that I
design eight full pages for the _Journal_--eight full pages of house
interiors. These were followed by a series of house designs. Finding it
difficult to keep to merely four walls I added dozens of suggestions
for individual pieces of furniture--this being the “Mission” period
when such designing required no knowledge of periods, only imagination.
Then Mr. Bok suggested that I move to Rose Valley, start a shop to make
furniture and other forms of handicraft in line with designs shown in
my _Journal_ drawings; and assume art editorship of _House Beautiful_,
which he was considering buying. But having failed in one business
venture, there was little excuse to embark on another.

The roman and italic face, used later for _Peter Poodle, Toy Maker
to the King_, was now designed for American Type Founders; and while
building a home in Concord, adjoining Hawthorne’s “Wayside,” and
working every day in the open, regaining lost health, the story,
_Castle Perilous_, was written--also outdoors. These activities were
followed by a request from Mr. Nelson, president of American Type
Founders, that I undertake a campaign of type display and publicity
for the Foundry, with a promise to cut any decorative or type designs
that I might supply, also to purchase as many Miehle presses as might
be required for the printing--an invitation to which I replied with an
enthusiastic “Yes!” [In this way Bradley’s famous set of _Chap Books_
was inaugurated--Ed.]

During this type-display and foundry-publicity period _Castle
Perilous_, as a three-part serial, with illustrations made afternoons
following mornings spent with American Type Founders at Communipaw, was
published in _Collier’s_; and in 1907 I became that publication’s art
editor. Sometime during the intervening years--I can’t remember where
or when--time was found for designing several _Collier’s_ covers.

From 1910 to 1915, again with my own studios, I took care of the
art editorship of a group of magazines: _Good Housekeeping_,
_Century_, _Metropolitan_ and others, also an assignment from the
Batten Advertising Agency and, as recreation, wrote eleven _Tales of
Noodleburg_ for _St. Nicholas_.



[Illustration]



THE MAGAZINE WORLD--AN INTERPOLATION


For easier understanding by you whose magazine memories do not go back
to the turn of the century it should be told that we were then carrying
a Gibson Girl hangover from the Gay Nineties and were but a few years
removed from a time when there were only three standard monthlies:
_Harper’s_, _Scribner’s_, and _Century_; and seven illustrated
weeklies: _Harper’s_, _Frank Leslie’s_, _Harper’s Bazaar_, _Police
Gazette_, _Puck_, _Judge_ and the old _Life_,--magazines and weeklies
that were seldom given display other than in hotels and railroad
depots, where they were shown in competition with the then-popular
paper-covered novels.

In the mid-Eighties all monthlies, weeklies, books and booklets were
hand-fed, folded, collated and bound; halftones were in an experimental
stage; advertising agencies, if any existed, were not noticeable in
Chicago, and advertising of a national character used only quarter-page
cover space. But something in the air already quickened imagination,
and the Nineties gave us more magazines and better display.

In 1907, magazines were shedding swaddling clothes and getting into
rompers; the _Saturday Evening Post_ had cast off its pseudo-Benjamin
Franklin dress and adopted a live editorial policy that was winning
readers and advertising; Edward Bok had ventured a Harrison Fisher
head on a _Ladies’ Home Journal_ cover and won a fifty-thousand gain
in newsstand sales, and Robert Collier had built a subscription-book
premium into a national weekly.



[Illustration]



THE MAGAZINE WORLD--COLLIER’S AND OTHERS


On a Saturday afternoon in 1907, believing myself alone, for the
offices and plant had closed at twelve, I was standing at a drafting
table making up the Thanksgiving issue of _Collier’s_ when Mr. Collier
entered. He became intrigued with proofs of decorative units being
combined for initial-letter and page borders, as had earlier been done
with similar material in designing a cover, and asked for some to take
home and play with on the morrow. Robert Collier was that kind of a
boss--a joy!

Of the Thanksgiving issue Royal Cortissoz wrote: “This week’s number
has has just turned up and I cannot refrain from sending you my
congratulations. The cover is bully; it’s good decoration, it’s
appropriate, it’s everything that is first rate. The decorations all
through are charming. More power to your elbow. It does my heart good
to see _Collier’s_ turning up in such splendid shape.” There were other
favorable comments--but no noticeable jump in newsstand sales.


My joining Collier’s staff has been under circumstances quite
exceptional, even for that somewhat pioneer period in which the
streamlined editorial and publishing efficiency of today was only a
vague dream. I had been asked to give the weekly a new typographic
lay-out. When this was ready Mr. Collier suggested that I take the
art editorship. He said I would be given his office in the editorial
department and he would occupy one in the book department, where he
could devote more time to that branch of the business, an arrangement
he knew would please his father. I was to carry the title of art editor
but in reality would be responsible for make-up and other details that
had been demanding too much of his own time.


At the age of twelve I had begun to learn that type display is
primarily for the purpose of selling something. In 1889, as a
free-lance artist in Chicago, I had discovered that to sell something
was also the prime purpose of designs for book and magazine covers
and for posters. Later I was to realize that salesmanship possessed
the same importance in editorial headings and blurbs. These
never-to-be-forgotten lessons, taught by experience and emphasized by
the sales results of the publicity campaign I had lately conducted for
the American Typefounders Company, would classify that Thanksgiving
number as a newsstand disappointment. However, it pleased Robert
Collier who, even to hold a guaranteed circulation--when a loss would
mean rebates to advertisers--would not permit the use of stories by
such popular writers as Robert Chambers and Zane Gray nor the popular
illustrations of such artists as Howard Chandler Christy!


My tenure at _Collier’s_ gave me a new experience. There I always
worked under conditions inviting and stimulating imagination, and there
I probably unknowingly shattered many a precious editorial precedent.

_Collier’s_ had one of the early color presses akin to those used on
newspapers. We decided to use this to print illustrations for a monthly
“Household Number” carrying extra stories. The editorial back-list
showed no fiction suitable for color; the awarding of one thousand
dollars a month for the best story, judgment based upon literary
merit, had resulted in the purchase of nothing but literary fog. Mr.
Collier told Charles Belmont Davis, fiction editor, to order what was
necessary. Charley asked me who could write the type of story needed. I
said, “Gouverneur Morris.” Mr. Morris, then in California, sent a list
of titles accompanied by the request: “Ask Will Bradley to take his
pick.” We chose _The Wife’s Coffin_, a pirate tale. During an editorial
dinner at his home Robert Collier read a letter from his father, then
out of the city, in which P. F. (his father) wrote: “If you continue
printing issues like this last our subscription-book salesmen report
the weekly will sell itself.” Robert said: “Mr. Bradley can make this
kind of a number because he knows the people from whom the salesmen
obtain subscriptions. I don’t, and any similar undertaking by me would
be false and a failure.”

During this period of art editorship, and following the lay-out of a
booklet, _Seven Steps and a Landing_, for Condé Nast, advertising
manager of _Collier’s_, a color-spread for Cluett-Peabody, lay-outs
for the subscription-book department, and pieces of printing for Mr.
Collier’s social activities (also a request from Medill McCormick that
I go to Chicago and supply a new typographic make-up for the _Tribune_;
a suggestion from Mr. Chichester, president of the Century Company,
that if I were ever free he would like to talk with me about taking
the art editorship of _Century_; and from Mr. Schweindler, printer of
_Cosmopolitan_ and other magazines, an expression of the hope that I
could be obtained for laying-out a new publication), Robert Collier
proposed the building of a pent-house studio on the roof near his
father’s office where, relieved of much detail, I could give additional
thought to all branches of the business. This promised too little
excitement, and instead I rented a studio-office on the forty-fifth
floor of the then nearly-finished Metropolitan Tower. At this time
Condé Nast had just purchased _Vogue_, then a small publication showing
few changes from when I had contributed to it in the early Nineties.

In this new environment I handled the art editorship and make-up of
_Metropolitan_, _Century_, _Success_, _Pearson’s_ and the new _National
Weekly_, which was given a format like that of present-day weeklies and
a make-up that included rules. Caslon was used for all headings except
for _Pearson’s_ which, using a specially-drawn character, were lettered
by hand.

Among some discarded _Metropolitan_ covers I found one by
Stanislaus--the head of a girl wearing a white-and-red-striped toboggan
cap against a pea-green background. By substituting the toboggan-cap
red for the pea-green background, with the artist’s approval, we
obtained a poster effect that dominated the newsstands and achieved an
immediate sellout.



[Illustration]



ENTER MR. HEARST


In the Nineties I had been asked to provide a lay-out for the Sunday
magazine section of Mr. Hearst’s New York paper. I could not do this
properly except at my Wayside Press. This the typographic union would
not permit, but in the years that followed, I enjoyed an intermittent
part-time association with Mr. Hearst--working on magazines, papers and
motion pictures.

One of these assignments was _Good Housekeeping_. This magazine had
been published by the Phelps Company, and had achieved a circulation of
250,000 copies. Additional sales would tax the plant and necessitate
more equipment and the magazine was sold to William Randolph Hearst. I
was asked to design a new lay-out and to take over the art editorship
during its formative period. For the new venture Mr. Hearst ordered
a Winston Churchill serial--_Inside the Cup_ if my memory is not at
fault. Mr. Tower, the editor brought from Springfield, said this would
mean taking out departments and a loss of half the circulation--but
the departments came out, the serial went in, Mr. Tower resigned, Mr.
Bigelow became editor, and circulation mounted into the millions!

In 1915 Mr. Hearst asked me if I could arrange to give him all of
my time and art-supervise production of the motion picture serial,
_Patria_, starring Irene Castle. I agreed.

In 1920, after writing, staging and directing _Moongold_, a Pierrot
fantasy photographed against black velvet, using properties but no
pictorial backgrounds--an independent production launched with a
special showing at the Criterion Theater in Times Square, I returned to
Mr. Hearst in an art and typographic assignment including magazines,
newspapers, motion pictures and a trip to Europe where commissions
were placed with Edmund Dulac, Arthur Rackham and Frank Brangwyn.
Somewhere along the trail _Spoils_, a drama in verse, and _Launcelot
and the Ladies_, a novel, were written--the former printed in _Hearst’s
International_ and the latter destined to carry a Harper & Brothers
imprint--but not to become a best seller.

Another Hearst project in the early Twenties was a new format and
the creation of a typographic lay-out for _Hearst’s International_.
For the lay-out, the headings of which would have to be different
from those provided earlier for _Cosmopolitan_, I designed a set of
initial letters, later catalogued by the foundry and called “Vanity.”
Knowing that Mr. Hearst would want to use portrait heads for covers
and that they would all have to be made by a single artist whose style
did not permit of confusion with the Harrison Fisher heads used on
_Cosmopolitan_, I approached Benda with the suggestion that if he would
use one color scheme for both head and background he could probably get
the contract. On seeing the first Benda cover Mr. Hearst asked how it
happened that this was the only Benda head he ever liked! He was told,
and authorized a contract.

These _Hearst International_ changes led to my being asked to give
thought to strengthening _Cosmopolitan_ headings in 1923. The request
came on a Monday morning. The issue then in hand closed at Cuneo’s in
Chicago on the following Friday. Mr. Hearst never urged hurry, but
early results were appreciated. Obtaining a current dummy with page
proofs, I headed for the ATF composing room at Communipaw, N. J. About
half-past four I had personally set, without justification, every
heading in the issue--using Caslon in roman and italic in the manner it
had been assembled by uninhibited compositors of the Colonial period.
That night, at home, I trimmed and mounted proofs in a new dummy.
The mixing of roman and italic in radically different sizes and with
consideration for desired emphasis, with possibly a 96- or 120-point
roman cap starting a 48- or 60-point italic word, resulted just as I
had visualized while the type was being set in fragmentary form. No
changes were necessary, and every minute of the afternoon had been
good fun. Tuesday I left for Chicago; Wednesday was spent at Cuneo’s
where, using this reprint copy, all headings were set, made-up with
text pages, and proved; Thursday the new lay-outs were enthusiastically
approved in New York; Friday, at Cuneo’s, _Cosmopolitan’s_ managing
editor closed the forms according to schedule. It had been a grand
lark--and within a few weeks that free style of typography began to
appear in national advertising.

One morning a request came from Mr. Hearst to use color at every
editorial opening in _Hearst’s International_--a startling innovation
at a time when illustrators were accustomed to drawing or painting
only for reproduction in black and white or for an occasional insert
in process colors. Closing day on the current dummy was only two weeks
away. With the aid of editorial substitutions it was thought we could
make the date. Taking a dummy showing possible signature distribution
of colors, I made the round of studios to find artists agreeable to the
use of one extra color.

After ten days’ work I arrived at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago,
where Mr. Hearst was holding conferences. I had an appointment for noon
of the next day. Spending the intervening time at Cuneo’s, I finished
the dummy and appeared for my appointment, asking at the hotel that
Mr. Hearst’s secretary be informed. The clerk shook his head; orders
had been given that no phone calls were to be put through to that
floor. The manager was called, I pointed to my brief-case lying on the
counter, and said that Mr. Hearst was waiting for its contents. The
manager took a chance, made the call, and I was told to go right up.

The conference was in a large room with window seats overlooking the
lake. We sat on one of these seats while the dummy was viewed--page
by page--twice. Mr. Hearst was pleased and asked if he might keep the
dummy so he could enjoy it at his leisure. I told him the closing date
would not permit this. He understood, and saying so in an appreciative
manner suggesting a pat on the back, he sent me off to catch the
afternoon limited so I could reach New York in the morning. There I
was shown a wire evidently written and sent as soon as I had left. It
was to Ray Long, editor-in-chief, saying: “Shall be pleased if future
numbers are as attractive as the dummy I have just seen.” That is the
“Chief”--always stimulating and appreciative!



[Illustration]



TOWARDS A NEW STYLE


After retiring from the Hearst organization I was recalled and asked
to go to Chicago and see if something could not be done to improve the
printing of illustrations. A trip to Chicago was not necessary, there
being an obvious change long overdue in the New York art departments,
and not in the Cuneo printing plant. This fact was reported to Mr.
Hathaway, who had relayed the request from Mr. Hearst in California;
but Chicago was in the cards and I went. Upon my return a written
report, the substance of which had received Mr. Cuneo’s approval,
was given to Mr. Long. In lay language, briefly expressed, it said:
“Illustrators should be cautioned about an over-use of fussy and
valueless detail and asked to restrict their compositions to only so
much of the figure or figures, backgrounds and accessories as are
required for dramatic story-telling and effective picture-making;
requested to forego a full palette when subjects are to be presented
in only one or two colors, and to simplify renderings and avoid so
many broken tones. Full-page and spread reproductions will then not
only solve your press-room worries but create a new and finer type of
magazine.”

Mr. Long read the report--thoughtfully, I believe--talked with his art
editors, and finally decided the suggestions were too radical. But
had Mr. Hearst been in New York, and had the report gone to him, his
_Cosmopolitan_ and _Good Housekeeping_ would have led the field in
adopting principles of illustration that are now universal.

When asked to provide a new lay-out for _McClure’s_ magazine, then
a recent purchase by Mr. Hearst, I reveled in an opportunity to
apply the suggestions presented in the report. Making photographic
enlargements of available illustrations and eliminating all
non-essentials I used full pages and spreads and prepared the dummy
with a new note in typographic headings. Ray Long looked at it and
gasped. “Will,” he said, “a magazine like that would outshine and
humble _Cosmo_.” Mr. Hearst was still in California. Too bad! I had
made suggestions of worth and Mr. Hearst, running true to form, would
have weighed their values--not for a revived _McClure’s_, perhaps, but
for his other magazines.

       *       *       *       *       *

And now there is little more to tell, unless you want to listen to the
way I enthuse about our present-day illustrators, their delightfully
imaginative composition and masterly use of color. They are grand
campaigners! God love them and the editorial lads who give them
opportunity and encouragement. They are making an old man mighty
happy--yes, making him envy their fun while he is relegated to sheer
laziness in the siesta sun of California.

Before final retirement I managed to lay out a new _Delineator_, a new
Sunday magazine for the _Herald Tribune_ (about 1925), and a lay-out
suggested by early New England news-sheets for the _Yale Daily_, and
... well, I guess that’s about all. No! Listen. In these last three
lay-outs I continued to use my beloved Caslon!



[Illustration]



TODAY IN 1954


Do conditions today give the ambitious young designer and printer the
same opportunities I enjoyed back in the late Victorian period? Not the
same, of course, but even greater.

While it is true that the Nineties were literally made to order for
a boy who had acquired only such training as was to be had in the
sparsely equipped print-ship of a weekly newspaper in a pioneer
iron-mining town, today is made to order for the ambitious young
designer and printer who is availing himself of the training to be had
by even the small-town beginner.

Back in my boyhood days a study of such examples of design and printing
as now reach even the most remote out-posts of the printing industry,
would have taught me more than I learned during a year in the art
department, so-called, of the publishing house of Rand McNally in
Chicago.

The inspiration to be derived from the text and advertising pages
of our standard magazines, together with the creative art of school
children and the art magazines, quite unknown at the turn of the
century, supplies a liberal education teaching the beginner how to
appreciate and use the printing and designing advantages of today.

What are these advantages, and why do they open a door to exceptional
opportunities not known in the Nineties? First, and perhaps of greatest
importance, is the typographic consciousness now prevalent, especially
in the advertising and business world, where it is universally
recognized that effective typography and design increase sales.

Another advantage is to be found in the significant mechanical advances
of the last few years, the significance of the growing importance
of offset printing, presenting so many opportunities yet to be
grasped by the designer. And, an infant industry now, but one of vast
possibilities, is commercial silk-screen printing.

But upon my return to New York after many years in California I think
my greatest thrill came when I witnessed the mechanical setting of type
by photography. Always I have liked the feel of putting type into the
stick, and I liked to see the composition growing on the galley. In all
my years of working with type I have never made a preparatory lay-out,
except when the composition had to be done by another, which happened
only on magazine headings after a style had been determined in advance.

But this is an age of lay-outs, and in this new photographic process
with the use of photographic enlargements, there are possibilities
for display composition of any required size, and great variety,
presenting intriguing possibilities for the creative designer and
typographer.

All such steadily growing advances present opportunities which were
nonexistent back in my own youthful days. Together with the superior
training enjoyed by the youth of today, they have changed conditions
into a new world fraught with wonderful opportunities far beyond any I
knew in the Nineties.

                                                                     w b

  Short Hills, New Jersey
  May, 1954



A CHRONOLOGY


This brief biography of the man called Dean of American Designers
by _The Saturday Evening Post_ and Dean of American Art Editors by
_Publishers’ Weekly_, is amplified from its earlier compilation and
printing as a Typophile keepsake in 1948. It was first distributed at a
birthday luncheon held in New York, for Mr. Bradley’s eightieth.

  1868  Born in Boston, July 10, son of a cartoonist
        on a Lynn daily newspaper.

  1874  First finger in the “pi”--on being presented
        a box of characters brought
        home by his father for a small printing
        press Will bought with his own savings
        as a delivery boy.

  1877  Moves to Ishpeming, a mining town in
        northern Michigan.

  1880  A job (with a salary of $3 a week) as a
        printer’s devil, with the _Iron Agitator_
        (later _Iron Ore_).

  1885  Foreman with _Iron Ore_ at a man’s
        wages, $15 a week.

  1886  To Chicago--and an art department
        apprenticeship with Rand McNally--sweeping,
        dusting, running errands,
        grinding tempera ... at $3 a week.

  1887  With Knight & Leonard, Chicago’s
        leading fine printers, as a full-fledged
        designer at a salary of $21, and then
        $24 a week.

  1889  Free-lancing in Chicago; studio in the
        Caxton Building.

  1890  To Geneva, Ill., and first recognition
        through covers for _Harper’s Weekly_;
        posters for Stone & Kimball’s _Chap
        Book_; cover designs for the _Inland
        Printer_ (perhaps the first magazine
        covers ever to be changed monthly).

  1890  The creation of a widely copied type
        face named “Bradley” by ATF.

  1893  An exhibition at the Chicago World’s
        Fair.

  1895  To Springfield, Mass., the launching of
        his Wayside Press, “At the Sign of the
        Dandelion,” and plans for publication
        of _Bradley: His Book_ ... his love for
        Caslon and the beginning of a new Caslon
        era as a result.

  1895  The initial Bradley-designed paper
        sample book for Strathmore.

  1896  Exhibits at Boston Arts and Crafts;
        Colonial typography attracts national
        attention.

  1897  Caslon types on Strathmore Deckle
        Edge Papers prove successful; Bradley’s
        plant is expanded and moved to a loft
        in the Strathmore mill at Mittineague.

  1898  Merges business with University Press,
        Boston. Opens design and art service in
        New York; specialty, bicycle catalogs.

  1900  Mr. Bok, editor of _Ladies’ Home Journal_,
        commissions a series of eight full
        pages of house interiors for the _Journal_.
        A roman and italic face, used later for
        _Peter Poodle, Toy Maker to the King_,
        is designed for American Type Founders.
        While recovering from illness,
        _Castle Perilous_ is written, later serialized
        in _Collier’s_ with Bradley illustrations.

  1902  _Collier’s Weekly_ appears with Bradley
        cover (July 4).

  1903  Heads campaign of type display and
        publicity for American Type Founders.

  1904  Writing and designing _Chap Books_ for
        American Type Founders; setting typographic
        style for decades.

  1906  Writes and illustrates _Peter Poodle,
        Toymaker to the King_ for Dodd Mead.

  1907  Art Editor of _Collier’s_. Introduces new
        technique in coordinating make-up, art
        direction and typography. Holiday
        number becomes collectors’ item.

  1910-15  Simultaneous art editorship of _Good
        Housekeeping_, _Metropolitan_, _Success_,
        _Pearson’s_, _National Post_. Revises typographic
        make-up of _Christian Science
        Monitor_ ... beginning of a series of
        stories later published as _Wonderbox
        Stories_.

  1915-17  Art supervision of motion picture
        serials for William Randolph Hearst,
        including _Patria_, starring Irene Castle.

  1918-20  Writing and directing motion pictures
        independently. Production of
        _Moongold_, a Pierrot pantomime shot
        against black velvet, using properties
        but no sets, shown at the Criterion
        Theater in Times Square, New York.

  1920  Back to Mr. Hearst as art and typography
        supervisor for Hearst magazines,
        newspapers, motion pictures, and the
        introduction, in _Cosmopolitan_, of many
        typographic innovations.

  1923  Writes _Spoils_, a play in free verse for
        _Hearst’s International_.

  1926  Restyles _Delineator_ and Sunday magazine
        section of New York _Herald Tribune_
        (not _This Week_).

  1927  Harper & Bros. publish _Launcelot and
        the Ladies_.

  1930  Final, but far from inactive, retirement.

  1931  Serves on AIGA “Fifty Books of the
        Year” jury; delivers address at exhibition
        opening, New York Public Library.

  1950  Rounce and Coffin Club of Los Angeles
        award, October 28, for “Distinguished
        Contributions to Fine Printing,” at preview
        of Huntington Library exhibition,
        “Will Bradley: His Work.”

  1953  New type ornaments (used at chapter-openings
        in the present book) designed
        for American Type Founders.

  1954  Completion of a new paper specimen in
        Strathmore’s Distinguished Designers
        Series, almost sixty years after his first
        sample book for Strathmore. Introduced
        at University Club luncheon in
        New York, March 25.

  1954  Award of gold medal by the American
        Institute of Graphic Arts at Annual
        meeting, May 19.

“I have never known any guide other than what to me happened to look
right.”--w. b.



AN AFTERWORD


Few names in the annals of American typography gleam as brightly as
Will Bradley’s. Even fewer have made so varied a graphic contribution
as this gentle man, now eighty-six and revered as dean of American
typographers.

In May, 1954, he was awarded the coveted gold medal of the American
Institute of Graphic Arts. The citation, necessarily brief around the
rim, recalled one phase of his accomplishments: “To Will Bradley for a
half-century of typographic achievement.”

A more revealing summary would be found in the commendation of the
Rounce and Coffin Club award, presented at the Huntington Library
in October, 1950. The Club held its special meeting to honor Mr.
Bradley (then living in nearby Pasadena), and preview the Huntington
retrospective Bradley exhibition, which included examples of his book
design and illustration; articles and stories written; cover and
poster design; type and type ornament for American Type Founders; and
printing. Some seventy items were displayed, ranging from the Ishpeming
(Michigan) _Iron Ore_ masthead, designed in 1886, to a Christmas
greeting drawn in 1948.

The award, for distinguished contributions to fine printing, read:
“_Because_ he has for seventy years been a source of creative
inspiration in all the varied arts to which he has put his mind and
hand; _Because_ he found American printing at the end of the last
century in a dreary condition, held up to it the examples of the early
colonial printers, revived the simplicity and dignity of Pickering and
caused to flourish again the use of Caslon and the other old style
types; _Because_ he created a wealth of new ornamentation and by his
own demonstration introduced many original uses of ink, paper and
bookbinding; _Because_ he redesigned the American magazine and gave to
it the charm of a new outer garment with each appearance; _Because_
he cast the illumination of his talents upon the art of the poster,
the children’s book, and even the motion picture; _Because_ his great
direct aid and even greater inspiration have been acknowledged by many
American typographers, including such leaders as Frederic W. Goudy, W.
A. Dwiggins, Oswald Cooper and T. M. Cleland; _And finally_ because he
has not ceased to be for the printers of our day, as for those of two
previous generations, an inexhaustible fountain of kindly encouragement
and new discoveries.”

Despite their glow, these words spell a clear appraisal of this man’s
talents and graphic spirit. Ahead of his times, Mr. Bradley proved
a pace-setting pioneer whose work was so fresh that its vitality
is as measurable in the specimens of Strathmore and ATF, as in the
Hearst periodical pages. Particularly when compared with that of his
contemporaries, as Walter Dorwin Teague points out in his perceptive
introduction.

Mr. Bradley was born in Boston in 1868. His father, a newspaper
cartoonist, died when he was eight. Four years later his mother moved
to Ishpeming, a small iron-mining town in northern Michigan. Here, he
became a printer’s devil on the local newspaper.

The brief chronology of events in his legendary career (pp. 92-96)
reveals pertinent details of the early years as art department
apprentice with Rand McNally, Chicago map-makers, and as free-lance
artist. He soon won recognition for his cover designs and drawings for
_Harper’s Weekly_ and _The Inland Printer_, and posters for Stone and
Kimball’s _Chap Book_.

In 1895 he returned to New England to set up his Wayside Press in
Springfield, Mass. He was twenty-seven then, had just designed his
first sample book for Strathmore, and developed publishing plans for
_Bradley: His Book_. Volume one, number one was dated May, 1896;
the subscription price, one dollar the year. The cover was a poster
treatment of a tree on a grassy hilltop; the frontispiece was by
Edward Penfield, himself the subject of a lead article. Center spread
pages, decidedly in the Kelmscott manner, were devoted to a poem by
Harriet Monroe, with a floriated border surrounding the text in caps.
The body type was the ATF version of the Morris Golden face.

_Bradley: His Book_ was planned as an art and literary magazine, and
also “a technical journal for those engaged in the art of printing.”
Seven issues comprised its life span; the first four varied slightly
from the initial 5¼ × 10½ inch size; the last three (of volume
two) were 8 × 11 inches. A note indicated that “advertisements are
newly prepared for each number without extra cost.” Products promoted
included writing and printing papers, type, ink, periodicals, a
“talking” machine, auto tires, baking and washing powder, and soap. A
further note evidenced concern for design and typography, mentioning
that “advertisements may be appropriately illustrated by any artist,
provided the character of design and execution are suitable for pages
of this magazine. Text on electrotypes will be reset in type from
_Bradley: His Book_ fonts.”

From this point on, the Bradley career moved into high gear. In 1900 he
was commissioned by the _Ladies’ Home Journal_ to design eight full
pages of house interiors; he also designed a roman and italic type.

Three years later, at thirty-five, he headed a typographic and
publicity campaign for ATF (1903), and wrote and designed their famous
_Chap Books_. In 1907 he was art editor of _Collier’s_; and from
1910 to 1915 the simultaneous art editor for _Good Housekeeping_,
_Metropolitan_, _Success_, _Pearson’s_ and _National Post_. Then in
his early forties, he dipped into the field of the motion picture as
art supervisor of serials for William Randolph Hearst. In 1918 he was
writing and directing motion pictures independently. Two years later
he rejoined the Hearst organization as art and typographic supervisor
for their newspapers, magazines and motion pictures. In 1930, age
sixty-two, he retired to southern California.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of the Bradley renaissance a quarter-century later, a single design
accomplishment seems significant: The 1954 Portfolio in the Strathmore
distinguished designer series, begun in California in 1951, completed
early in 1954 and introduced at a luncheon sponsored jointly by the
Typophiles and Strathmore, held at the New York University Club. The
date was just a few months short of sixty years from that significant
day when the first paper-use specimen was issued by Strathmore in
Mittineague.

Among the speakers paying tribute were Edwin H. Carpenter of the
Huntington Library; Thomas Maitland Cleland, designer and artist; A.
Hyatt Mayor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Frederic G. Melcher,
dean of American publishers; Carl Purington Rollins, printer emeritus
to Yale University; Walter Dorwin Teague, industrial designer, F.
Nelson Bridgham, Strathmore president, and the undersigned reporter,
who served as toastmaster.

       *       *       *       *       *

The first-hand account of the fabulous years recorded in this book has
been assembled from separate papers written by Mr. Bradley at different
times since 1949. No attempt has been made to unify the varying tenses,
or modify the sometimes first-person sometimes second-person style of
the author in these different memoirs. An attempt _has_ been made to
connect these papers into one continuing narrative. To this end, some
editing of over-lapping material and cutting of repetitious passages
seemed essential.

The sources: A booklet titled _Memories: 1875-1895_, printed for the
Typophiles and other friends by Grant Dahlstrom in Pasadena, 1949;
another titled _Picture of a Period, or Memories of the Gay Nineties_,
printed for the Rounce and Coffin Club of Los Angeles (also by
Dahlstrom) in 1950; the Huntington Library hand list, _Will Bradley:
His Work_, 1951 (again printed by Dahlstrom). The fourth source item is
“Will Bradley’s Magazine Memories,” from the _Journal_ of the American
Institute of Graphic Arts (Vol. III, No. 1, 1950).

Like most Typophile projects, this has been in process for many months.
Though obviously a cooperative effort, much of the muscle and mind
needed to shape and form it has been contributed by Peter Beilenson. He
not only attended to the design and printing at his Peter Pauper Press,
but also helped materially in its editing.

The alluring prospect of additional illustrations for these pages was
reluctantly passed by. Our physical limitations and resources proved
inadequate to reflect the qualities, and the scope and variety of Mr.
Bradley’s work. Examples of his colorful designing and illustrating may
be seen in the comprehensive collections at the Metropolitan Museum of
Art, New York, and the Huntington Library, San Marino, California. A
brief selection is shown in _The Penrose Annual_, 1955.

Despite his years, Mr. Bradley generously offered to develop the
typographic plan of this book, and rewrite the entire text to further
illumine certain passages. He also suggested he make new drawings to
replace those on chapter pages, which were drawn in 1949 to enhance the
solid text pages of the _Memories_ booklet (The type ornaments on these
pages were drawn in 1953 for ATF.) This considerable task seemed an
unnecessary burden, particularly since Mr. Bradley had reflected with
characteristic charm and candor the recollections of his great years.
Like every artist and craftsman of stature, he remains his own severest
critic.

Numerous other friends have helped with this book: Among them, Arthur
W. Rushmore and Edmund B. Thompson in its early planning; Robert B.
Clark, Jr., and his colleagues at Strathmore; Nicholas A. Meyer, David
Silvé, Stevens L. Watts and Robert H. Wessmann--each has been quick
to answer every call, as has Will Bradley. For myself, it has been a
memorable and rewarding book-making experience to work with these good
friends, as it is a privilege to record here the indebtedness of The
Typophiles for their invaluable and generous assistance.

                                                         PAUL A. BENNETT



Typophile Chap Books: 30

[Illustration: THE TYPOPHILES NEW YORK ]


This thirtieth Chap Book in the Typophile series has been designed by
Peter Beilenson, and printed on Strathmore Courier at his Peter Pauper
Press, Mount Vernon, New York. The type face is Waverley; the binding
is by the J. F. Tapley Company, New York.

This edition comprises four hundred copies for Typophile subscribers
and contributors and 250 copies for general sale.



      *      *      *      *      *      *



Transcriber’s note:

Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

Inconsistencies in hyphenation have been standardized.

The cover image for this eBook was created by the transcriber
using the original cover and is entered into the public domain.





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