Will H. Bradley : A Chronology

A chronological timeline of the life and work of the artist Will H. Bradley.


10 July
William Henry Bradley born in Boston, Massachusetts. Son of Aaron Bradley and Sarah Rowland.


Death of his father, Aaron. In Spring, moved to Ishpeming, Michigan.


Began working as a printer’s devil for the Iron Agitator.


Accepted an unpaid position with J. Manz & Co., 107 Madison Street, Chicago, an engraving firm. Took a six-week unpaid internship in wood engraving at Rand McNally, Chicago. Then returned home.


Returned to Chicago to work for Rand McNally. Worked in stationery stores as a compositor.


Joined printing firm of Knight and Leonard.


29 August
Married Alice Titania Gray (11 Feb 1867 — 3 Dec 1951).


Left Knight & Leonard and became a freelance designer.

Moved to 179 South Carolina Avenue, Chicago.

17 Jul 1889
Daughter Fern Alice Bradley is born.


Maintained a studio in the Caxton Building (Holabird & Roche, 1890), at 500 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, through 1892.


First Inland Printer designs.


Studio in the newly built Monadnock Building (Burham & Root, 1891), at 53 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago. When built, it was the tallest free-standing brick building in the world, and the first to use structural alumninum.

Exhibited work in the ‘Fourth Annual Black and White Exhibition’ in Chicago.


Exhibited work in World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago.

Exhibited work in the ‘Fifth Annual Black and White Exhibition’ in Chicago.

Began designing for Vogue magazine.

15 May
Son William Rowland Bradley born.

Moved to Geneva, Illinois, 40 miles west of Chicago in Kane County.


15 March
When Hearts are Trumps published.

Inland Printer cover designs began. Ad for William Blade’s The Pentateuch of Printing.

‘The Twins,’ poster for The Chap-Book, Stone & Kimball.

In Russet and Silver published by Stone & Kimball.

Late 1894
Moved to West Springfield, Massachusetts. Studio at 307 Main Street, in the Phoenix Building, West Springfield, Massachusetts.

Christmas number cover design for Inland Printer garnered interest from American Type Founders, who licensed the lettering design and issued a blackletter typeface ‘Bradley Series.’


Established the Wayside Press in Springfield, Massachusetts. Located on top floor of loft building next to his Phoenix Building studio. Horace A. Moses commissioned designs for a new line of deckle-edged papers introduced by Mittineague Paper Company.

Exhibited work in Chicago Evening Post’s Exhibition of Artistic Posters.

Silver Award, Boston Mechanics Fair Poster Display.

Son Paul W Bradley is born (Geneva, IL). Exhibited work in The Echo show, Chicago.

26 Dec
Posters included in premiere exhibit and catalog of Samuel Bing’s gallery, Salon de l’Art Nouveau, at 22 Rue de Provence in Paris.


R. D. Blackmore’s Fringilla published by Burrows Brothers. Exhibited his work (157 pieces) at studio.

Exhibited 200 works at the Kit Kat Club, New York.

First issue of Bradley: His Book published at Wayside Press.

Exhibited work (21 posters, 2 gouaches) in the 1896 Reims Exposition, France.


Moved Wayside Press to larger facilities at Strathmore Mill, Mittineague, Massachusetts. In same building which housed the paper mill’s papermaking equipment.

Suffered a physical breakdown.

Exhibited work in the Arts and Crafts Exhibition, Copley Hall, Boston.

25 May
Exhibited work at studio, 307 Main Street, West Springfield, Massachusetts.

May – December
Designed and printed many books, including The Story of Ab, Like a Gallant Lady, The School for Saints, Edward Fitzgerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, The Earth Breath, his versions of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Rip Van Winkle, The Book of Ruth and The Book of Esther.

Established Wayside Studio.


Sold Wayside Press to The University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Became Director of the Wayside Department of the University Press. Studio, at 719 Constable Building, 111 Fifth Avenue, New York.


Stephen Crane’s War Is Kind is published by Frederick Stokes. Designed new layouts for Literature and The Bookman, ads for Ault & Wiborg and work for Collier’s.


Exhibited work in the Commercial Advertising Poster Art Display at the Paris Exposition. Quit University Press. Moved to 10 Kirkland Road, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Studied literature at Harvard. Studio, at 7 West 32nd Street, New York.


Royal Doulton issued Bradley’s ‘Eastern Figures’ line.


Designed ‘The Bradley House,’ published in Ladies’ Home Journal as a series of eight articles.


Royal Doulton issued Bradley’s ‘Golfers’ line. Built home in Concord, Massachusetts. Studio, ‘Sign of the Vine,’ Concord Massachusetts.


Served as Advertising Art Director, American Type Founders. Coordinated advertising materials and catalog design, designed typefaces, borders and ornaments, as well as the publication of the American Chap-Book and other collateral promotional materials.

Sep 1904

Bradley’s article ‘The Use of Printing Labels in Bookbinding,’ published in Printing Art.
‘Eighteenth Century Chap-Books and Broadsides,’ published in ATF’s American Chap-Book.

Oct 1904

‘Directness and Simplicity,’ published in American Chap-Book.

Nov 1904

‘The Use of Borders and Ornaments,’ published in American Chap-Book.

Dec 1904

Bradley’s article ‘Appropriateness,’ published in American Chap-Book.

Jan 1905

‘Printing as a Business,’ published in American Printer, from Bradley’s lecture, New York Master Printers’ Association.
Article ‘The Abuse of Custom,’ published in American Chap-Book.

Feb 1905

Illustrated article ‘Will Bradley’s Two Ideas for a $1000 House, Presented and Designed by Will Bradley,’ published in Ladies’ Home Journal.
Article ‘The Value of Little things,’ published in American Chap-Book.

Mar 1905

Article ‘Cover Designs,’ published in American Chap-Book.

Apr 1905

Illustrated article ‘Will Bradley’s Ideas for a $1500 House As Presented by Will Bradley,’ published in Ladies’ Home Journal.
Article ‘Business Cards,’ published in American Chap-Book.

8 Apr 1905

Collier’s cover design.

15 Apr 1905

‘Act I’ of Bradley’s ‘Castles Perilous’ published in Collier’s.

29 Apr 1905

‘Act II’ of ‘Castles Perilous’ published in Collier’s.

May 1905

‘The Use of Brass Rule,’ published in American Chap-Book.

13 May 1905

Collier’s cover design.

27 May 1905

‘Act III’ of ‘Castles Perilous’ published in Collier’s.

Jun 1905

‘Advertising Display,’ published in American Chap-Book.

Jul 1905

Illustrated article ‘Will Bradley’s Ideas for Two Houses for Less Than $2600, Presented by Will Bradley,’ published in Ladies’ Home Journal.
‘Booklets,’ published in American Chap-Book.

Aug 1905

‘Title Pages,’ published in American Chap-Book.

Dec 1905

‘Detail in Type Composition,’ published in American Printer, from lecture, New York’s westside YMCA.


Bradley’s Peter Poodle published by Dodd, Mead (written in 1905).


Art Editor, Collier’s. Office on 45th floor in Metropolitan Tower, New York. Worked on type arrangements, layouts, commissioned art from illustrators (Maxfield Parrish, Edward Penfield, Dulac, etc.), executed cover designs.


Established freelance studio, ‘Will Bradley Studios.’ Magazine covers.

Jul 1910

‘The Use of Color in Printing,’ published in American Printer.


Art Editor, Century, Good Housekeeping, Metropolitan, National Weekly, Pearson’s and Success. Designed new layouts for Century and Good Housekeeping.


Royal Doulton issues ‘Proverbs’ line.


Studio, ‘Will Bradley’s Art Service for Advertisers,’ and ‘Will Bradley’s Print Shop’ at 131 East 23rd Street, New York.


Moved to Short Hills, New Jersey.


Art Director, Hearst Publications and Motion Pictures. Cover designs and typographic layout for Century magazine, Dec 1914 through Jan 1917.

Art directed the motion picture serials Beatrice Fairfax, (1916, 15 episodes) starring Grace Darling and Harry Fox; and Patria, (1917, 15 episodes) starring Irene Castle, Warner Oland, and Wallace Beery. Both of which were produced in Ithaca, NY during 1915-1916.

Dec 1915

First of Bradley’s ‘Tales of Noodleburg’ published in St. Nicholas. Ran through Nov 1916.

Oct 1916

Bradley’s Wonderbox Stories published by the Century Co., a compilation of his ‘Tales of Noodleburg’ stories.


Wrote, directed and produced independent silent films, under his production company, Dramafilms.


Wrote and directed the fantasy Moongold, (1921).


Art Director, Hearst Publications. Hearst’s International. Typeface design ‘Vanity.’

Oct 1926

Designed new typographic layout for Delineator magazine.


Bradley’s Launcelot and the Ladies published by Harper & Brothers.


Lived in Short Hills, Millburn Township, New Jersey with wife Alice and daughter Fern.


Lecture, judge, AIGA’s Fifty Books of the Year exhibit, New York.


Still lived in Short Hills, Millburn Township, New Jersey with wife Alice and daughter Fern.

Abt 1948

Retired to 1616 Fair Oaks Avenue, Apt 19, South Pasadena, California. Began working on autobiography.


Autobiography, Memories 1875-1895, published by the Grant Dahlstrom of Castle Press, Pasadena.


Lecture, Hoja Volante Club. Judge, Western Books 1950 exhibition.

28 October
Lifetime Achievement Award, Rounce and Coffin Club.

1 November
Exhbition, Will Bradley, His Work: An Exhibition, at Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

3 December
Wife Alice Bradley died, Los Angeles, California.


Moved back to Short Hills, New Jersey.

Jul 1952

Honored by the Typhophiles, New York.

9 Jun 1954

Honored by Strathmore Paper.


Award, American Institute of the Graphic Arts (AIGA).

Oct 1957

Daughter Fern’s husband, the noted painter Edward Dufner died.

Fall 1957

Moved with daughter Fern to Clairmar Apartments, 644 Carla Way, La Jolla, California.


His health failing, moved to Hacienda Convalescent Home, 5111 Garfield, La Mesa, California.


25 January
Will Bradley, age ninety-three, died in La Mesa, California.


Citation: Lindsay, Martin S. Will H. Bradley : A Chronology. Website: WillBradley.com. Accessed 18 Jul 2024, <https://willbradley.com/chronology/>. Bibliography. References.