Career and published work (5)


In Happenings Here and There, Bradley presented his account (written in the second person) of the early days of his career, beginning with his childhood and concluding just before the founding of the Wayside Press. Ending with some remarks on the trajectory of his career, Bradley wrote: “your merry meanderings have known many a stumble – but when you fell down you always somehow managed to get up – a bit bruised maybe, but not limping. Yes, the world went very well then. A pleasant thought on which to fade out.”

The book was printed in an edition of 500 copies, intended “for Fellow Typophiles, Friends of the Press, and the Author.” Bradley designed the book’s binding and its printed ornaments. A printed insert entitled “Something About the Years That Followed” provided a summary of Bradley’s work from 1900 to the present. The insert explained that the period 1895-1900 had been left out as Bradley had yet to compile a proper record of this period.

In 1950 Bradley donated his personal archive to the Huntington Library. That same year, the Huntington presented an exhibition of Bradley’s work. The following year, an exhibition catalog was printed by Grant Dahlstrom at the Castle Press featuring a cover and printed initials designed by Bradley. The exhibition catalog also included Bradley’s account of his early years entitled “The Gay Nineties.” As with Happenings Here and There, this autobiographical piece begins with his birth and concludes just before the introduction of the Wayside Press.

The photograph printed on the frontispiece shows Will Bradley and Thomas Maitland Cleland at the exhibition. Cleland, an influential graphic designer and art director since the 1920s, had begun corresponding with Bradley in 1950, after sending Bradley a gracious letter acknowledging Bradley’s significant impact on Cleland’s own work.

Will Bradley: His Chap Book was Bradley’s final book production. Another autobiographical work, the text primarily consists of revisions of pieces that he had previously published in articles and booklets, concluding with a new chapter entitled “Today in 1954.” It presents Bradley’s most complete account of his life and career in his own words. The book was printed in an edition of 650 copies with printed illustrations and ornaments designed by Bradley.

Peninsula Paper Company.

Ornithoid Cover: Parrot: Antique Finish. [1905.]

This is one of thirteen Bradley designs that the Peninsula Paper Company used in its paper sample book Ornithoid Onimbo Orkid Cover Papers, which was published by the Wayside Department of the University Press. The image originally appeared in Bradley: His Book and was recolored for the paper catalog.

Bradley, Will H., 1868-1962.

Harper’s Round Table. [New York: Harper & Bros.,] November 1895.

Bradley, Will H., 1868-1962.

Now Ready: The Inland Printer St Valentine Number,February 1895.

Bradley, Will H., 1868-1962.

March Issue Ready: The Inland Printer, March [1896].