The Roycroft History Course - "Elbert Hubbard's Buffalo" Thursdays starting March 2nd

$25.00 each


The Roycroft History Course

The Roycroft Campus will once again be offering a special Roycroft History Course in the Spring of 2017. This semester’s theme will be Elbert Hubbard’s Buffalo. We will take a closer look at Elbert’s early life, his time with the Larkin Soap Company, how Buffalo would have looked to Hubbard while living there, and the connection between Theodore Roosevelt, Buffalo and a special book. A different guest speaker will be leading each class, which takes place Thursday evenings starting March 2nd at 7:00pm in the Roycroft Power House. The sessions include:

Elbert Hubbard the Early Years - Thursday, March 2nd at 7pm in the Roycroft Power House

Art History adjunct professor and Campus Program Director, Alan Nowicki, will take a look at Elbert Hubbard's family tree, his parents and his upbringing. An examination of Elbert's school life, early interests, hobbies and family connections which may have influenced his creation of the Roycroft Campus. The presentation will also include some recently discovered family photographs.

How Elbert Hubbard Helped to Create the Larkin Idea – Thursday, March 16th at 7pm in the Roycroft Power House

When one thinks of large corporations in the Gilded Age, images of over-worked and under-paid women and children working in dangerous sweatshops comes to mind. The Larkin Soap Company was a leader in changing the work place environment by placing an emphasis on the overall well being of their employees.  They created an environment where all of the “Larkinites,” which included not only the employees but also management and their customers, were treated with respect which in turn created a very dedicated and loyal organization which serves as a model for successful organizations even today.  Elbert Hubbard was instrumental in developing the Larkin Idea which served as the business model upon which the Larkin Soap Company became one of the largest employers in Buffalo.

This talk will examine Hubbard’s role in creating the Larkin Idea and how this idea improved the lives of not only the Larkin employees but also the lives of the citizens of Buffalo.

Elbert Hubbard's Buffalo - Then and Now – Thursday, March 30th at 7pm in the Roycroft Power House

Elbert Hubbard arrived in Buffalo in 1881 at the height of the Gilded Age. Buffalo was the eighth largest city in America and a magnet for the top talent across the country. The city's industrialists and financiers stopped at nothing to bring the finest architects and designers to Buffalo to refashion the city into a modern metropolis, culminating in the Pan-American Exposition of 1901. Coming to Buffalo as a result were such famous figures as Frederick Law Olmsted and Louis Sullivan, who contributed important elements to the city's landscape alongside flourishing local design talent led by Green & Wicks and Esenwein & Johnson.

Theodore Roosevelt and Buffalo: A Book Connection Discovered – Thursday, April 6th at 7pm in the Roycroft Power House

Before opening his own studio in Buffalo in 1905, John F. Grabau learned the art and craft of fine bookbinding at Roycroft, under Louis H. Kinder.  In 1913, Grabau bound a book especially for Theodore Roosevelt, entitled The Promised Land by Mary Antin.  Theodore Roosevelt vowed that the book would forever occupy an honored place in his library.  Once lost to history, come hear the story of how this historic book bound by a former Roycrofter was recently rediscovered.


  • The Roycroft Power House, 39 South Grove in East Aurora, NY 14052 (unless otherwise stated)


  • Tuition for the Roycroft History Course, (which includes all four classes) is $10 for Roycroft Campus members - $25 for the general public . Become a member today and receive this discount. Roycroft Campus members can call the Roycroft Campus at 716-655-0261 and register for their discount.
  • Registration is required.
  • All proceeds go to help with the preservation and restoration of the Roycroft Campus
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