Arthur W. Rushmore & The Golden Hind Press
The Ideal Book is the concerted effort of three parties, the author, the maker, and the ultimate possessor. There are only two real requisites—knowledge and good taste. So simply is the Ideal Book produced—so simple it is as to defy production.
The above words penned nearly seventy years ago reveal a great deal not only about the professional publishing sentiments of Arthur W. Rushmore but also about the character of the publisher himself. Rushmore worked as head of book production and manufacturing for more than two decades at Harper & Brothers before becoming a director of the prestigious publishing house in 1942 (Retires 1). Spurred on by the ideal defined in the above quote and the inability to make quality books that “within the economic barrier[s]” of commercial publishing, Rushmore opened a private press he operated from his home called The Hind Press (Publishing 1). The private press, named after the flag-ship of Sir Francis Drake, served as a laboratory in which his printing ideas were explored, and produced over 200 volumes of which many were chosen as American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) “Fifty Books of the Year” selections.
Rushmore’s commitment to quality in all aspects of publishing from paper selection to typeset style helped the House of Harper build its prestigious reputation and success during his tenure there. However, modern publishing came of age during Rushmore’s life and his motivation behind the Golden Hind Press included not only his dedication to quality materials and unique printing practices but also his love of the written word in print. As the Madison Public Library in Madison, New Jersey, writes in its introduction to an exhibition of fine letter press editions produced by The Golden Hind Press “This exhibition celebrates the beauty of the printed word as both physical artifact and transcendent idea” (Arthur 1).