Roycroft & Elbert Hubbard Chronology in Photos

Elbert Hubbard adopted the Arts & Crafts style for his Roycroft business which included a successful book publishing firm, the Roycroft Inn, and the manufacture of Arts & Crafts furniture and decorative arts. Roycroft's renown was largely due to Hubbard's 1899 article A Message to Garcia which made Hubbard an American inspirational superstar.

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Elbert Hubbard plaster bust Elbert Hubbard replica plaster bust Elbert Hubbard painted plaster bust Elbert Hubbard bronze medallion
Elbert Hubbard photograph Portrait of Elbert Hubbard Statue of Elbert Hubbard near Roycroft Campus. East Aurora, NY. Elbert Hubbard Portraits
  • June 19, 1856: Elbert Hubbard born in Bloomington, IL, raised in Hudson, IL.
  • 1875: J.D. Larkin Soap Co. founded in Buffalo, NY. Shortly thereafter, Hubbard, (brother-in-law of J.D. Larkin) becomes salesman for Larkin Soap where Hubbard creates significant marketing innovations: direct marketing to consumers, premium gifts with each bar of soap, combination soap boxes & larger soap packages shipped to the buyer on 30 day approval.
Larkin Soap Manuf. Co. Larkin Soap Toilet Soap box. Larkin Soap packages & china premium. Larkin Baking Powder tin.
  • 1881: Hubbard marries Bertha Crawford; they have four children.
  • 1883: Hubbard & Bertha move to East Aurora, NY, 20 mi. south of Buffalo, because Hubbard rejects conventional society & needs a more spiritual, rural environment.
  • ~1889: Alice Moore, a young school teacher, begins boarding with Bertha & Elbert.
  • Alice & Elbert enjoy intellectual friendship which evolves into secret love affair.
  • 1893: Hubbard retires from Larkin Soap & uses money from sale of his Larkin stock to partner in East Aurora printshop which will become Roycroft Press.
  • Bertha Crawford Hubbard works on design, hand painting & production of books.
  • Hubbard aspires to become a writer.
  • 1894: Hubbard has daughter, Miriam, by Alice Moore. Miriam is sent to live with relatives. Relationship between Elbert & Alice temporarily severed.
  • 1894: Hubbard travels to England to research his monthly booklets of short stories "Little Journeys".
  • In England, Hubbard is exposed to Arts & Crafts movement, particularly William Morris & his Kelmscott Press.
  • Hubbard adopts Bohemian lifestyle & dress prevalent in artistic community of 1890s.
Portrait of Bertha Crawford Hubbard first wife of Elbert Hubbard Hand painted vase by Bertha Crawford Hubbard Portrait of Alice Moore Hubbard second wife of Elbert Hubbard both died in sinking of RMS Lusitania Portrait medallion of William Morris, founder of Arts & Crafts movement,
Bertha Crawford Hubbard (1861-1946) 1st wife (1881) of Elbert Hubbard. Hand painted vase (1891) by Bertha Crawford Hubbard. Alice Moore Hubbard (1861-1915) 2nd wife (1904) of Elbert Hubbard. Portrait medallion of William Morris, founder of Arts & Crafts movement.
Printing press by R. Hoe & Co. of New York & London at Roycroft Print Shop. East Aurora, NY. Photo of original Roycroft print shop at Roycroft Inn. East Aurora, NY. Printshop display Print Shop on Roycroft Campus. East Aurora, NY.
Printing press similar to that used by Roycroft. Original Roycroft print shop. Printing equipment at Roycroft. Print Shop (1901) on Roycroft Campus.
  • 1895: Hubbard founds Roycroft, an Arts & Crafts community, in East Aurora.
  • Hubbard publishes The Philistine, initially a literary magazine, which evolves into a forum for Hubbard's ideas & a means of marketing Roycroft products.
  • 1899: Hubbard writes "A Message to Garcia", an exhortation for worker loyalty, initiative & unquestioning adherence to instructions, as a last-minute filler for The Philistine magazine.
  • The President of the New York Railroad orders 100,000 re-prints for distribution to all employees.
  • Subsequent versions of Message to Garcia sell 40 million copies in 37 languages & is made into two motion pictures.
  • Hubbard shifts to author inspirational books, pamphlets & pithy sayings, often based on ideas of others.
  • Hubbard's success with inspirational messages leads to many speaking engagements throughout the United States where Hubbard gains popularity due to his flamboyant style.
The Philistine magazine published by Roycroft The Philistine poster promotes Roycroft's magazine Various editions of "A Message to Garcia" by Elbert Hubbard Various editions of "A Message to Garcia" by Elbert Hubbard
The Philistine magazine by Roycroft Poster for Philistine magazine "A Message to Garcia" editions by Hubbard "A Message to Garcia" editions by Hubbard
A Message to Garcia painting by Ralph Pallen Coleman The Fra journal published by Elbert Hubbard Book on James Oliver inventor of Chilled Plow by Elbert Hubbard Health and Wealth book by Elbert Hubbard
A Message to Garcia painting (1925) by Ralph Pallen Coleman The Fra journal (1908) published by Elbert Hubbard Book (1909) on James Oliver inventor of Chilled Plow by Elbert Hubbard Health and Wealth book by Elbert Hubbard
Speak well of every one slogan from Roycroft "We are all Children in the Kindergarten of God" wood carved slogan by Roycroft Roycroft Inn entrance door with Hubbard slogan. East Aurora, NY. Roycrofter magazine
Speak well of every one slogan from Roycroft "We are all Children in the Kindergarten of God" slogan. Roycroft Inn entrance door with Hubbard slogan. Roycrofter magazine (1929)
Be Yourself wood carving Elbert Hubbard slogan on tile on The Library fireplace at Roycroft Inn. East Aurora, NY. Restaurant beams gives inspirational Self-Reliance slogan at Roycroft Inn. East Aurora, NY. Restaurant beams urges diners to Fletcherize at Roycroft Inn. East Aurora, NY.
Be Yourself wood carving Elbert Hubbard slogan on tile at Roycroft Inn. Roycroft Inn dining room beam with Self-Reliance promo. Restaurant beam urges diners to Fletcherize (chew each mouthful 32 times).
  • 1903: Marriage to Bertha Crawford ends in divorce.
  • 1904: Hubbard marries Alice Moore & their daughter, Miriam, becomes part of their family. Alice becomes an active partner in Roycroft & Hubbard's other enterprises.
  • 1905: Roycroft Inn opened by Hubbard to accommodate throngs of visitors, including many prominent guest lecturers, on Roycroft campus.
  • After many requests by visitors to buy Roycroft furnishings at the Inn, Hubbard realizes that these are highly saleable.
  • Unlike the totally-handcrafted English Arts & Crafts movement, Roycroft manufactures with machinery, making items more affordable for average families. Roycroft furniture is noted for use of unvarnished native wood, mainly oak & minimal decoration.
Hotel sign at Roycroft Inn. East Aurora, NY. Main building at Roycroft Inn. East Aurora, NY. Lobby with murals by Alexis Fournier at Roycroft Inn. East Aurora, NY. Door leading to former original print shop, now restaurant at Roycroft Inn. East Aurora, NY.
Hotel sign at Roycroft Inn. East Aurora, NY. Roycroft Inn main building (1905). Roycroft Inn lobby with murals (1905). Door to original print shop, now restaurant at Roycroft Inn.
  • 1906: Hubbard trademarks Roycroft logos & carves them on the front of Roycroft furniture.
  • A lawsuit with Nabisco, over similar trademarks, ends in an out-of-court settlement.
Roycroft signature panel on arts & crafts display cabinet at Marston House Museum. San Diego, CA. The Roycrofters of East Aurora, NY trademark at Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, MI. Roycroft trademark on table at Roycroft Inn. East Aurora, NY. National Biscuit Company Uneeda box with logo which led to dispute with Roycroft
Roycroft wordmark. Roycroft trademark (c1906). Roycroft trademark with shorter height. National Biscuit Co. trademark on tin (1923) once disputed with Roycroft
1895-1915: Under Hubbard's direction, Roycroft artisans create:
Roycroft furniture shop on Roycroft Campus. East Aurora, NY. Original electrical motors at Roycroft furniture shop. East Aurora, NY. Roycroft Arts & Crafts bookshelf with Elbert Hubbard bust Roycroft chair made for Grove Park Inn of Asheville, NC
Roycroft furniture shop (1904) on Roycroft Campus. Original electrical motors at Roycroft furniture shop. Roycroft Arts & Crafts bookshelf. Roycroft chair made for Grove Park Inn of Asheville, NC
Roycroft copper shop on Roycroft Campus. East Aurora, NY. Roycroft copper shop fireplace. East Aurora, NY. Metalware items from Roycroft Copper Shop Bookends by Roycroft Copper Shop
Roycroft copper shop (1902) on Roycroft Campus. Roycroft copper shop fireplace. Metalware items from Roycroft Copper Shop. Bookends by Roycroft Copper Shop.
  • Hubbard markets skilfully. e.g. Roycroft gives bookshelf premiums with books.
  • Roycroft invents fine wooden Goodie Boxes which allow consumers to mix a range of small Roycroft products into a single impressive gift.
  • At peak, 500 people live & work in the Roycroft community.
Roycroft Arts & Crafts bookshelf supplied to subscribers of Hubbard's book series "Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great" Roycroft Goodie Box made as gift hamper for Roycroft food items sits on Roycroft luggage rack from Roycroft Inn Roycroft Maple-Pecan Patties box lid Drum from Roycroft Concert Band
Roycroft Arts & Crafts bookshelf supplied to subscribers of Hubbard's book series "Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great" Roycroft Goodie Box made as gift hamper for Roycroft food items. Roycroft Maple-Pecan Patties box lid (c1925). Drum from Roycroft Concert Band, one of community activities supported by Roycroft.
Gold plated model of Oliver Chilled Plow presented to Elbert Hubbard when he wrote article on inventor James Oliver Oakland Orpheum Vaudeville playbill featuring Elbert Hubbard's 20-minute philosophy talk Roycroft shelf unit with shovel given to Hubbard by Luther Burbank Elbert Hubbard tours to lecture & meet celebrities.
Gold plated model of Oliver Chilled Plow presented to Elbert Hubbard when he wrote article (1909) on inventor James Oliver Oakland Orpheum Vaudeville playbill featuring Elbert Hubbard's 20-minute philosophy talk Roycroft shelf unit with shovel given (c1910) to Hubbard by Luther Burbank
  • January 1913: Hubbard pleads guilty & is convicted on one count of mailing "objectionable matter in violation of the postal laws".
  • 1915: Hubbard seeks & receives a Presidential pardon from Woodrow Wilson, allowing him to obtain a passport for a voyage to Europe.
  • April 22 1915: German government gives notice in U.S. newspapers that all ships carrying the British flag in waters adjacent to Great Britain are liable to destruction.
  • May 7, 1915: Hubbard & his second wife, Alice Moore, die aboard the RMS Lusitania when it is sunk by a German submarine off coast of Ireland.
Elbert Hubbard's pardon from Woodrow Wilson overturning 1913 conviction for circulating "objectionable" matter under U.S. postal laws Lusitania life saver & model of torpedoed RMS Lusitania aboard which Hubbard died on May 7, 1915
Elbert Hubbard's pardon (1915) from Woodrow Wilson overturning 1913 conviction for circulating "objectionable" matter under U.S. postal laws Lusitania life saver & model of torpedoed RMS Lusitania aboard which Hubbard died on May 7, 1915
  • 1915: Hubbard's son, Bert Hubbard, takes over direction of Roycroft.
  • 1938: Roycroft furniture suspends production.
  • 1985: Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Museum, East Aurora, NY opens to display Roycroft decorative arts and history.
  • 1975: Roycroft Renaissance begins with the foundation of the non-profit Roycrofters-at-Large Association (RALA) for fund raising & to help secure the placement of the Roycroft Campus on the Register of National Historic Places
  • 1976: New mark/logo designed for Roycroft Renaissance artisans to use.
  • 1986: Roycroft Campus becomes a National Historic Landmark.
  • 1990s: Production of Roycroft style items resumes in connection with restoration of Roycroft Inn.
  • 1995: Restored Roycroft Inn re-opens. Restoration of the rest of Roycroft Campus continues.
Roycroft Renaissance trademark with two Rs back-to-back on Roycroft Inn tall clock at Roycroft Inn. East Aurora, NY.


Roycroft Renaissance trademark (after 1976) with two Rs back-to-back on Roycroft Inn tall clock.



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All photos on this page are originals by & copyrighted by Jim Steinhart.
All rights reserved. Permission required to use.