There is a generic material called "Binder's Board". Which is the board that the covers of hardcover books are made from. In the industry, it is also called "Davey Board". I have done quite some searching around, but have not found a definitive source for the term. Does anyone know where this came from?

Davey seems like a person's name, so I can only guess that a person named Davey made this board or was one person who was well known at some time in the past.


1 Answer 1


It would appear that the name comes from The Davey Company (Davey Est 1842) who invented and manufactured various types of board under the Davey trademark(s).

The company produces enough binder's board for 30 million books and has three factories and 300 employees. It is the country's largest manufacturer of binder's board and a pioneer in large-scale recycling. It also remains under the control of the descendants of William B. Davey, the founder.
The company founder and family patriarch, William B. Davey, was born in 1789 in Somersetshire, England. He first visited the United States in 1816, returning with his family four years later. In 1827, in a transaction of some portent, Davey bought five acres of land in Bloomfield from the heirs of John Dodd.
In 1830, Davey diversified from farming and entered into a partnership to make fustian, a tightly woven material favored for work clothes. And in 1842, in the start of the modern company, he began making binder's board at a mill in Bloomfield. At first, the board was used not only for book covers but also to construct strong, lightweight trunks for trans-Atlantic travel and Western expansion.

What Goes Into the Making of a Book's Cover, NYT (from Aug. 2, 1992) — paywalled

  • Link leads to NYT paywall for me. Sep 11, 2021 at 9:31
  • Yeah, NYT is paywalled: might be worth including a proper bibliographical reference if you can't link to a free online article.
    – Stuart F
    Sep 21, 2021 at 10:47
  • 1
    I hadn't realised it was paywalled when I first accessed the site. The problem is that the company is no longer appears to be in business (at least under the original name) and it seemingly wasn't notable enough to have earned a Wikipedia page. There is a book giving the history of the company but that is now out-of-print and it's too recent to be available in Google books or Archive.org. Sep 21, 2021 at 11:16

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