History

The Arts and Crafts Movement

The Arts and Crafts Movement was an aesthetic movement that flourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Begun in Britain by social reformers Walter Crane and John Ruskin, and designer William Morris, it was a reaction against the tastes of the Victorian era and the "soulless" machine-made products of the emerging Industrial Revolution. Their belief was that good design correlated to the notion of a good society. Workers under hardship by the working conditions and machines found in factories often created goods that were poor in design and quality. The movement's aim was to re-establish a harmony between architect, designer and craftsman, and to produce handmade, well-designed, affordable, everyday objects. These products would enhance the lives of ordinary people while providing fulfilling work for the craftsman...read more.

Elbert Hubbard

The life of Elbert Hubbard began in Bloomington, Illinois, where he was born to Silas Hubbard and Juliana Frances Read in 1856. He grew up in Hudson, Illinois, where his first business venture was selling Larkin soap products, a career which eventually brought him to Buffalo, New York. His innovations for Larkin included premiums and "try now, pay later". After twenty years in the soap business he decided to change careers and become a writer. Inspired by William Morris's Kelmscott Press in England, Hubbard began the Roycroft Press in East Aurora, New York in 1895. It would quickly grow into an Arts and Crafts community which became a haven for artists, writers and philosophers. ... read more.

The Roycroft Campus

The Roycroft Campus is the best preserved and most complete complex of buildings remaining of the "guilds" that evolved in the United States at the turn of the 19th to 20th century. Author, lecturer, and entrepreneur Elbert Hubbard began to develop the Roycroft Campus in 1897. Inspired by leaders of the Arts and Crafts movement in England, William Morris and John Ruskin, Hubbard started the Roycroft Press as a way to produce monthly publications and illuminated books...read more.

The Roycroft Logo

The original Roycroft logo was trademarked by Elbert Hubbard in 1906. Its inspiration comes from a symbol used by monks in the middle ages at the end of their illuminated manuscripts, signifying "The Best I Can Do Dedicated to God." The double barred cross and circle was used by the Roycroft artisans to identify their handcrafted, high-quality arts and crafts products. Hubbard inserted an "R" standing for "Roycroft" and inside the circle, and began placing the logo in highly visible spots on the artisan's products. The logo would be carved into handcrafted furniture, affixed to leather goods, or added to certain patterns used on china and glassware...read more.

 
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