Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bradbury, Henry

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BRADBURY, HENRY (1831–1860), writer on printing, was the eldest son of William Bradbury, of the firm of Bradbury & Evans, proprietors of 'Punch,' founders of the 'Daily News,' the 'Field,' and other periodicals, and publishers for Dickens and Thackeray. In 1850 he entered as a pupil in the Imperial Printing Office at Vienna, where he became acquainted with the art of nature printing, a process whereby natural objects are impressed into plates, and afterwards printed from in the natural colours. In 1855 he produced in folio the fine 'nature-printed' plates to Moore and Lindley's 'Ferns of Great Britain and Ireland.' These were followed by 'British Sea Weeds,' in four volumes, royal octavo, and a reproduction of the 'Ferns,' also in octavo. In the same year, and again in 1860, he lectured at the Royal Institution of Great Britain on the subject of nature printing. He paid much attention to the production of bank notes and the security of paper money, on which he discoursed at the Royal Institution. This lecture was published in 1856, in quarto, with plates by John Leighton, F.S.A. In 1860 this subject was pursued by the publication of 'Specimens of Bank Note Engraving,' &c. Another address on 'Printing: its Dawn, Day, and Destiny,' was issued in 1858. He died by his own hand 2 Sept. 1860, aged 29, leaving a business he had founded in Fetter Lane, and afterwards moved to Farringdon Street, which was carried on under the name of Bradbury, Wilkinson & Co. At the time of his death he thought of producing a large work in folio on the graphic arts of the nineteenth century, but he never got beyond the proof of a prospectus that was ample enough to indicate the wide scale of his design.

[Information supplied by Mr. John Leighton, F.S.A.; Bigmore and Wyman's Bibliogr. of Printing, i. 23, 77-8; Proceedings of Royal Institution.]

C. W. S.