Books in the Roycroft Style




          Weber Books was actually started as a commercial printing house in 1976 in Ashland, PA. It was a small concern, starting in a small garage comprising no more than 300 square feet, with no running water and only a small electric heater. In spite of this limited space, their equipment consisted of a complete darkroom, an ATF Chief 22 press, a Multilith 1250, a small Gordon letterpress, a paper cutter and a varityper. In a few years they moved to a church building which had been the office and printery of the "Ashland News" for close to 70 years. This building was able to accommodate a larger camera, type cabinets, a composing room, and offices. Difficulties were encountered in attracting business and obtaining people with the right skills, and the operation closed its doors for a while. In 1992 business started up in the form of a periodical "Buy America Magazine", a guide to consumers looking for products made in America. The owner, Joseph Weber, next became interested in the Roycroft Movement, with its new Roycroft Renaissance, in East Aurora, New York. He examined all the beautifully crafted articles made by the artists and artisans of the new organization, the Roycrofters-at-Large Association (RALA) and gave serious thought to taking up one of their crafts such as pottery, woodworking, metal work, leather work tile-making. He rejected each of these pursuits as unsuited to his leanings and skills. He soon coupled his life-long interest in creative writing (especially the success literature) and printing with the historical fact that the printing empire of the Roycrofters was never truly resurrected. This was especially interesting since the writing and printing had been Elbert Hubbard's favorite avenues for his own talents and they had been what really launched the whole Roycroft Movement. Moreover the special blend of history, philosophy, biography, the success literature, medieval style, and early printing techniques were all Mr. Weber's constant companions for many years. He still wonders why it took him so long to find the Roycrofters. After three years of constant experimentation, untold consultations with skilled persons and myriad equipment purchases, a new Roycroft Printing Shop of sorts has risen from almost nowhere. Well, not quite nowhere - it came from Weber Printing and Weber Books.                                                                     

          We now have facilities in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania and East Aurora, New York. Our facilities consist of 4 offset presses, a collection of C&P, Kluge, Verner and Colt's Armory letterpresses (which we did not stop to count yet), two Smyth sewing machines and the usual darkroom, paper cutting and binding equipment. We do all our binding by hand, although we hope to change some of the stitching to the Smyths soon since they are the standard when it comes to well-bound, multiple signature, books that can be produced in quantity and sold reasonably. We are committed to the production of a hand-made, and hand-illumined, book which looks good and contains a great message - just like the productions of Elbert Hubbard and the Roycrofters. We cut no corners and make no effort to save money so we can make more ourselves. Our books are not perfect but they are the best we can make. Elbert Hubbard said "The love we liberate in our work is the love we keep". Gustav Stickley's motto on his furniture was "als ich kann" (as I can). We can aspire to no better principles than those of the two great leaders of the Arts and Crafts Movement in America.



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