An Illustrated History of Bradbury & Bradbury Epilogue

Posted on | November 12, 2008 | 3 Comments

We hope you enjoyed this Bradbury & Bradbury retrospective. Thirty years later we are still a small company and happy to remain that way. Bruce’s vision was to build a craftsman’s shop, not a conglomerate, and I think that philosophy has served our company and our customers well.

As I mentioned in the first post on this blog, we owe our existence as a company in part to all of you who have chosen to hang our wallpapers in your homes and we thank you profusely for that business and your encouragement over the years. We also want to thank all of you out there who have shared your “wallpaper discoveries”, photos of your historic interiors, along with your restoration stories. We appreciate the time you have taken to send these on to us!

As a conclusion, I would like to answer a couple of frequently asked questions…

Why “Bradbury & Bradbury” when it was founded by (the singular) Bruce Bradbury? Who’s the other “Bradbury”? Bruce added that second “Bradbury” as a tribute to his family, due to their financial and moral support as he worked to get the company established. Many people assume the company was over one hundred years old and founded by two old-timers that looked like the pair pictured on the “Smith Brothers Cough Drops” box!

Where did the early design inspirations come from? While I mentioned Bruce’s frequent pilgrimages to photograph works in Britain, he also received a tremendous amount of inspiration here in the States, particularly from John & Judy Freeman at the American Life Foundation.

Through the courtesy of his early supporter Clem Labine, Bruce met the Freemans at their home in Watkins Glen, New York. There, John not only shared his vast historical knowledge with Bruce, but also his vast Victorian library. Due of the Freeman’s great generosity, Bradbury & Bradbury became the undeserving recipient of many of John’s rare chromolithographed folios, especially works by Christopher Dresser. Without these we may never have reproduced the many patterns in our collection by this remarkable and sometimes “futuristic” designer of the late 19th century!

Certainly then to all the family, friends, fans and hardworking employees past and present, we continue to remain indebted… Thanks for being there these thirty years!!


3 Responses to “An Illustrated History of Bradbury & Bradbury Epilogue”

  1. kennedy
    November 13th, 2008 @ 6:17 pm

    Is Bruce still involved with the company?
    Also, he was a great teacher. He taught classes in Pattern design in San Francisco for a while. One of the best art classes I’ve ever taken. What is he up to these days, or is that a secret?

  2. steve
    November 17th, 2008 @ 12:19 pm

    It’s no secret. But let’s let Bruce himself answer that question:

    “Thanks for the inquiry, and especially thanks for remembering the Pattern Design course – it was some of the most fun I ever had, and I still marvel at the talents and the energy of the students in that class.

    I’m now living on the coast of Maine (not so far from where I was born), and am a freshman (no kidding) at UM Machias, majoring in music. It was one of those classic “road not taken” things for me, as I have always had a hanker to be a composer or song writer. I’m looking forward to spending the summer traveling around to the local fairs and festivals with the UM Ukulele band.

    Happy as a clam, as they say.”

  3. kennedy
    November 19th, 2008 @ 10:34 am

    thanks for the reply message.
    Bruce continues to be an inspiration!


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