In case you missed it, WEN Founder Jim Horton compiled a book “Commercial Wood Engraving in the 20th Century” from his collection of Sanders Engraving Company’s archive material – published by The Legacy Press in 2020. It’s an important record of the commercial side of wood engraving in the United States — a rare peek into the evolution and roots of design and advertising in the U.S.
Jim Horton has been practicing the art and craft of wood engraving for more than 40 years. His mentor was David M. Sander (1923-1999) of the Sander Engraving Co., one of the most well-known commercial engravers whose work was featured in mail-order catalogs, such as those published by Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Montgomery Ward. The commercial side of the Sander business closed in 1971, and after David’s death, Horton transferred the company archive business documents, blocks, proofs, and equipment to his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to preserve it.
While this book touches on the history of wood engraving from the work of early 19th-century English wood engraver, Thomas Bewick, to that practiced in the U.S. in the 20th century, the focus is on the Sander Company and the practices of commercial engravers in the 20th century.
Foreword by Judith Jaidinger, RE (Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers)
Topics include: Defining a Wood Engraving, History of Wood Engraving as It Pertains to Commercial Engraving, The Commercial Wood Engraver, The Tools and Specialized Processes of the Wood Engraver, The Sander Engraving Company, David Sander, and Pates of Product Proofs
The text is augmented by many examples of blocks and proofs in full color, and more than 114 pages of proofs of Sander Co. wood engravings cover a variety of subjects including cameras, food, hardware, and sporting goods.