Finding Mr. Kilburn

There hasn’t been a lot of time in the last week to do much on printing or planning, but I did spent a while squeezing more from the internet on the elusive Mr. Kilburn. An intensive web search did indeed yield more leads, and one exciting find. The lead comes in the form of a scarce book, held in various prominent collections (Smithonian, John Hopkins) titled Specimen of designing and engraving on wood, 1876 by Samuel Smith Kilburn. Needless to say, I will be hitting up some of my contacts at the National Library to arrange a possible interlibrary loan.

There are several references to Kilburn as an artist and engraver on many sites, both for institutions and private or commercial interests, since many books have, over time, been reduced to nothing more than individual prints. So he does turn up.

Most exciting of all, though, is a photo in the Tufts Digital Library showing Washington Street, circa 1874, Boston’s equivalent to London’s Fleet Street. Note the name on the upper right portion of the photograph:


Well, that’s exciting for me. That’s my guy, in living B&W. Needless to say, I’ll be in touch with Tufts for rights come time to do a book on Kilburn. For the portfolio I will list a reference only.

Tomorrow, inking up the press and taking more proofs of the blocks. I hope.

Explore posts in the same categories: Block Printing, Wood Engraving

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