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October 16, 2023

30 Impressive Posters Designed William Henry Bradley in the Late 19th Century

Born 1868 in Boston, Massachusetts, American Art Nouveau illustrator, artist and film director William Henry Bradley was nicknamed the “Dean of American Designer” by The Saturday Evening Post, he was the highest-paid American artist of the early 20th century.

Posters designed by William Henry Bradley in the 1890s

Bradley left at 17 for Chicago, Illinois, where he held a few brief jobs as a wood engraver and typographer before dedicating himself to freelance graphic design. He moved back to Massachusetts and set up the Wayside Press, where he served as an illustrator, editor, typographer, designer, and press manager for a magazine he named Bradley, His Book. He had achieved financial success, but the stress of managing so many projects at once began to damage his health, and he collapsed at the age of 28. He recovered quickly, but he was forced to sell the Wayside Press.

Bradley founded his own production company, Dramafilms, and went on to write, produce and direct his own films, including Bitter Fruit (1920), Moongold (1920) and The Tame Cat (1921). In 1954, The Typophiles published a memoir of Bradley's life called Will Bradley: His Chap Book, a limited edition of 650 copies. The same year, he won the AIGA medal, the highest honor for graphic designers.

Bradley was a prolific artist and designer up until his death at age 93 in 1962. Here is a set of impressive posters designed by William Henry Bradley in the 1890s.

Makers of Lithographic and Letterpress, 1890

Poster for The Chap Book, 1894

The Chap-Book, The Twins, May 1894

When Hearts are Trumps by Tom Hall, 1894

Columbia Bicycles, 1895

Field flowers by Eugene Field, 1895

Kenwood Bicycles, 1895

Narcoti-Cure, Cures the Tobacco Habit in from 4 to 10 Days, 1895

Thanksgiving Number, Cover of Harpers Round Table, 1895

The Chap Book, Thanksgiving Number, 1895

The Chap Book, The Pink, May 1895

The Chap-Book, 1895

The Chap-Book, The Chataurs, 1895

The Echo, Chicago, 1895

The Echo, Chicago, August 1, 1895

The echo, Chicago, May 15, 1895

The Inland Printer, Christmas, 1895

The Modern Poster, 1895

Victor Bicycles, 1895

Whiting's Ledger Papers, 1895

‘The Kiss’, “American Art Posters of the 1890s", 1896

Cover of Harper's Bazar, Easter, 1896

Field Flowers, 1896

Harper's Young People, New Year's Number, 1896

St. Nicholas, Christmas Number, 1896

Victor Bicycles, Overman Wheel Co., circa 1896

Victor Bicycles, Overman Wheel Co., circa 1896

Victor Rijwielen, Overman Wheel Co., circa 1896

Victor Victoria bicycles, 1896

Ad for Ault & Wiborg Inks, 1897

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