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Dox Thrash

Dox Thrash – WPA Printmaker & Inventor of the Carborundum Print Process (1893-1965)

  • 1893 – Born on March 22, 1893 near Griffin, GA to Gus and Ophelia Thrash.
  • 1903 – Thrash leaves school after completing fourth grade.
  • 1908 – Dox left Georgia at age 15 to go “hoboing” and traveled from Georgia up to Chicago.
  • 1911 – Thrash arrives in Chicago.
  • 1914 – Thrash enrolls at the Art Institute of Chicago where he studied art from 1914 to 1923 except for 11/2 years spent fighting in WWI.
  • 1917 – He served in the US Army from 1917-1918 in France. Thrash was gassed and wounded in a battle on the last day of the war, November 11, 1918.
  • 1919 – Thrash returns to the US and tours the “Plantation Circuit” with his vaudeville act before resuming his studies at the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • 1923 – He finishes his studies at the AIC.
  • 1924 – Thrash begins another cross-country trip but stays in Philadelphia (1925).
  • Late 1920s – He is befriended by Samuel Reading, who runs a printing business in West Philadelphia, and learns the art of printmaking.
  • 1937 – Thrash joins the Philadelphia Fine Print Workshop, a division of the Federal Art Project. He receives a WPA commission for a nursery rhyme mural in the children’s ward of Mercy Hospital (now destroyed), Philadelphia, PA.
  • 1940 – He is named the”inventor of the carborundum print process” in various news article.
  • 1945 – With his reputation as an artist was at its peak, Thrash is employed as a house painter with the Philadelphia Housing Authority.
  • 1951 – He travels through Europe.
  • 1958 – Thrash is featured in the “Federal Art Project Twenty Years After” exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
  • 1958 – He retires from the Philadelphia Housing Authority.
  • 1965 – Dox Thrash dies on April 19, 1965 from a heart attack after judging a children’s poster contest. He is buried in the US National Cemetery, Beverly, NJ.