History of the Copper Shop
I don't believe that a complete and accurate history of the Copper Shop has been written yet. In an attempt to compile a chronology based on the latest scholarship, I've combed through the 3 McConnell Roycroft Art Metal books, Via and Searle's Head, Heart and Hand, and Dr. Michael Clark's essay Arthur H. Cole and the Avon Coppersmith in Style 1900. Here's what I came up with:
1899: Original blacksmith shop is built and production of wrought iron fixtures, andirons, and hinges begins.
1902: The Copper Shop is built and production of copper fixtures, hinges, etc. begins.
1904: Dard Hunter arrives at Roycroft.
1906: The first commercial Roycroft copper items (simple letter openers, pin trays, etc) are produced for sale.
1906: Karl Kipp begins work at Roycroft in the Bindery.
1909: Walter U. Jennings moves from the Bindery to the Copper Shop.
1910: Former banker Karl Kipp joins the Copper Shop.
1910: Kipp and Hunter collaborate on some Roycroft copper designs -- "early" Vienna Secession-influenced style emerges (geometrics, cutouts, silver overlays).
1910: Dard Hunter leaves Roycroft to pursue paper making career.
1911: Kipp begins his own copper business while still employed at Roycroft.
1911: Kipp's wares are first advertised in The Fra.
1911-12: Italian polychrome line is introduced by Jennings (caramel colored copper with green paint highlights).
1912: Roycroft receives huge commission for copper items for the Grove Park Inn.
1912: Kipp leaves Roycroft to found the Tookay shop.
1912: Jennings leaves Roycroft to join Tookay Shop.
1912: Victor Toothaker is working in the Copper Shop (decorative rivet style emerges -- he may have designed the American Beauty Vase).
1913: West Wing is added to the Copper Shop.
1914: Art Cole is employed at age 16 at the Tookay Shop.
1915: Elbert Hubbard dies on the Lusitania, and his son Bert takes over the Roycroft Shops.
1915: Kipp and Jennings rejoin the Copper Shop (along with Art Cole).
1916: The North Wing is added to the Copper Shop.
1916: Jennings makes Roycroft-like items at home and signs with his own mark.
1918: Art Cole joins the Marines and leaves the Copper Shop.
1920: Roycroft begins using Steuben glass in lampshades and vase inserts.
1921: Kipp, Jennings, and Cole confirmed all employed at the Copper Shop.
1921: Jennings still making Roycroft-like items at home and signing with another mark.
1921-1928: The "golden age" of Roycroft copper production.
1928: Bert Hubbard lays off Copper shop workers.
1929: Jennings moves to the Bindery; Cole stays in the Copper Shop.
1929: Kipp and Cole resign from the Copper Shop.1929: Stock market crashes.
1930-: Small crew including Leon Varley continues production.
1930-: Quality and production decrease dramatically.
1930-31: Art Cole opens the Avon Coppersmith.
1930-: Jennings produces copper and sterling silver items from his home, some of which are sold through the Avon Coppersmith shop.
1938: Bankrupt Roycroft Shops close down.
1954: Karl Kipp dies.
There are gaps in the above chronology, and there are several inconsistencies between sources. I would be inclined to accept the dates listed in Clark's article over those in the McConnell books where they disagree. Also, I believe that Clark has refined some of the dates listed in Head Heart and Hand.