To hold a book bound by Fritz Eberhardt is to experience the exquisite sensation of a perfectly bound book. Frank Mowery, former President of the Guild of Book Workers, described Fritz Eberhardt as “one of the greatest and most influential binders in America.” His work has been widely exhibited at major shows, and is held by institutions around the world including the Vatican.
Fritz Eberhardt (1917-1997) was born in Beuthen, Germany. His family apprenticed him as a binder at an early age. At the age of eighteen he enrolled in the Academy for Graphic Arts in Leipzig and later attended the Offenbach School of Fine Arts. He met his wife, Trudy, after the war and they immigrated to Sweden where they were married. Through connections with the Library Company in Philadelphia, the Eberhardts immigrated to the United States in the early 1950s. Fritz often credited his interest in moving to the United States to an early reading of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The Eberhardts worked for the Library Company as bookbinders and restorers, lived in Philadelphia, and eventually moved to Schwenksville where they opened their own bindery. Don Rash worked closely with Fritz Eberhardt for several years and now continues the legacy of Eberhardt's book binding techniques at his own bindery and through his School for Formal Bookbinding.