Graphic artist William Bradley was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on July 10, 1868. After working as a wood engraver and typographer, Bradley set up the Wayside Press in Boston, where he served as the editor, illustrator, designer, typographer, and press manager. Bradley later sold Wayside Press and worked as a freelance graphic designer for numerous newspapers, magazines, and advertising agencies. The Saturday Evening Post nicknamed Bradley the “Dean of American Designers.” He published his autobiography, entitled Memories 1875-1895: Happenings here and there along the trail, or, The world went very well then : a Victorian tale gleaned from memories and told for the edification of the fellow Typophiles, in 1949. Bradley died in La Mesa, California, on January 25, 1962.
Bradley, Will. Will Bradley : His Chap Book. New York: The Typophiles, 1955.
Information derived from the collection.
These letters, galley proofs, and postcards were laid in a first edition of Will Bradley’s Memories 1875-1895: Happenings here and there along the trail, or, The world went very well then : a Victorian tale gleaned from memories and told for the edification of the fellow Typophiles.
This collection includes two pages of galley proofs from Bradley’s manuscript Memories 1875-1895. Bradley sent these proofs to David Silvé, a fellow member of the Typophiles, who made several corrections in red ink. Bradley wrote an inscription to Silvé in pencil on the proofs: “David—This is the only place where I allowed by thoughts freedom [.] It comes at the end, The other episodes are all told briefly, and they refer to printing and designing conditions at the time. Please do not let this get beyond the ‘Three Musqueteers’. As you will see—it was fun making the typish decorations—or illustrations.”
Bradley wrote two letters to Silvé regarding this manuscript. In an autograph letter dated “Friday,” Bradley noted that he was sending Silvé an advance copy, describing the work as “a true labor of love in spite of its shortcomings.” In an undated typed note, Bradley responded to Silvé’s corrections on his manuscript, promising to “try to follow your suggestion and put a little punch in the design.”
This collection also includes a carbon copy of a letter from Silvé to Bruce Barton dated June 23, 1954, concerning plans for the celebration of Bradley’s eighty-sixth birthday. Silvé noted that Bradley had received the American Institute of Graphic Arts’ gold medal the previous May. There is also a printed postcard directed to Typophile members concerning the celebration of Bradley’s eightieth birthday. This postcard was probably sent in 1948.