Hunter, Dard

Born: November 29, 1883
Died: February 20, 1966

Ohio connection: Birth


Dard Hunter, son of William Henry and Harriet (Rosemond-Browne) Hunter, was born in 1883 in Steubenville, Ohio. His great-grandfather had set up a printing office in rural Ohio in 1812, and his grandfather and father owned and edited newspapers. While a boy, Hunter learned to set type and was fascinated by the art of bookmaking. From 1898 until 1901, he traveled throughout the United States as a magician`s assistant. From 1903 until 1908, he was associated with Elbert Hubbard, editor and publisher at Roycroft Press in East Aurora, New York. Hunter married Helen Edith Cornell on March 24, 1908. They had two children: Dard, Jr., and Cornell. Hunter attended a number of colleges and universities, including Ohio State University; Kunstgewerbe Schule and Versachs-Anstalt, both in Vienna; and Royal Technical College in London. He was a bookmaker and publisher from 1914 until 1950. In 1928, he established Dard Hunter Associates, a mill for making handmade paper. He was vice president of News-Advertiser Company of Chillicothe, Ohio, from 1914 until 1938. Hunter wrote numerous books, mostly about papermaking. Some of his titles are: Old PapermakingThe Literature of PapermakingPapermaking in the ClassroomOld Papermaking in China and JapanPapermaking by Hand in AmericaPapermaking in Pioneer America; and Papermaking: The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft. He also wrote Before Life Began: An Autobiography. Eight of his books were printed by Mountain House Press, and were all made entirely by Hunter. These are thought to be the only books in the history of printing to be made as such, their author being also the papermaker, typefounder, typesetter, and printer. Dard Hunter died February 20, 1966.

Gold Medal, American Institute of Graphic Arts, 1931; Ohioana Medal, 1944; Rosenbach Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 1949; Gold Medal, Gutenberg Museum (Mainz, Germany), 1954. Honorary degrees: Litt.D., Lawrence College, 1931, Ohio State University, 1939; L.H.D., Wooster College, 1947; M.A., Lehigh University, 1949.