The Art and Business of Bookbinding Continues (sort of)

To accompany my interview with Savile Row tailor Richard Anderson, earlier this month we offered up a slide show displaying 20 different industries like bespoke tailoring that have survived the centuries. All of the industries such as glass-blowing, millinery, and book binding began as trades and despite the advent of mass production and commercialization that has transformed many of them (making many others irrelevant) we found those individuals that were still dedicated to the old handcrafted traditions. In the spirit of maintaining the old trades, the San Francisco Chronicle writes about 57-year-old Tim James, who runs Taurus Bookbindery. James is also the founder of the American Bookbinders Museum, its financier, curator, display builder and text writer. He says that “San Francisco once had the largest printing industry in the West, concentrated where the four-part Embarcadero Center is now.” Although today there are only two hardcover bookbinders left in the city that once saw 30 bookbinders burn to the ground during the 1906 fire, James remains true to his craft.

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