Daniel Carter Beard, American illustrator and naturalist, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He had a notable career as an illustrator. He was one of the founders (1910) of the Boy Scouts of America, he served for the remainder of his life as national scout commissioner. To boys all over the country he was known as Uncle Dan. Mt. Beard, adjoining Mt. McKinley, is named for him. He had an unusually diverse career that brought him into national prominence as an illustrator, reformer, naturalist, and co-founder of the Boy Scouts of America. The son of painter James H. Beard, he and two of his brothers, Frank and James C. Beard, became prominent New York-based illustrators and cartoonists after establishing a shared studio in 1878. Dan's illustrations appeared in many of the popular periodicals of the time. Among reformers of the late 19th century and early 20th century, Beard was well-known as an early and active supporter of the Single Tax Movement inspired
by Henry George's 1879 book Progress and Poverty. Most of the illustrations presented here reflect that interest. Daniel Carter Beard founded the Sons of Daniel Boone in 1905 and his colorful personality and leadership played an important part in the early American Boy Scout movement.
Daniel Carter Beard was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1850 but grew up in Covington, Kentucky where he learned the many tales of Daniel Boone and the American pioneers.The son of painter, James H. Beard, had two of his brothers, Frank and James C.
He graduated from Wallace's Academy, as a civil engineer and surveyor. He subsequently studied at the Art Students League, New York City.
Daniel Carter Beard had an unusually diverse career that brought him into national prominence as an illustrator, reformer, naturalist, and co-founder of the Boy Scouts of America. He made insurance maps until he visited New York on vacation and stayed to study art. Dan's illustrations appeared in many of the popular periodicals of the time. Beard and his brothers became prominent New York-based illustrators and cartoonists after establishing a shared studio in 1878. His illustrations and articles graced the pages of St. Nicholas Magazine (where Jungle Book and Little Lord Fauntleroy first appeared) and Youth's Companion. These articles and accompanying illustrations were later compiled into books. Beard taught art from 1883 to 1890 at the Women's School of Applied Design. He illustrated many books (among them the first edition of Mark
Twain’s Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court) and taught animal drawing. He was the president of the Society of Illustrators and of the Camp Fire Club. Near Mt. McKinley in Alaska is Mt. Beard that was named in his honor.
Among reformers of the late 19th century and early 20th century, Beard was well-known as an early and active supporter of the Single Tax Movement inspired by Henry George's 1879 book Progress and Poverty. Most of the illustrations presented here reflect that interest.
Beard became interested in work with boys. He was a strong proponent of youth groups, especially those that got the boys involved in healthy outdoor activities and promoted patriotism. His focus was on pioneers and pioneering, incontrast to his colleague and rival Ernest Thompson Seaton. He was involved in several different youth groups. The most important was the Boy Scouts. He was given the title of National Scout Commissioner. Bear was full of ideas and his destinctive look made him an important public face of Scouting. He had less interest in the building the organization--the Boy Scout Association.
Beard as the first BSA national Scout commissioner, helped design the original Boy Scout uniform and introduced the elements of the First Class Scout badge. It was his idea to Americanize the Boy Scout fleur-de-lis by adding the American eagle and shield. His design for the emblem was granted a design patent by the U.S. patent office on July 4, 1911.
Like Chief Scout James West, Beard was originally against a younger boy program for Scouting and felt the term "Cub" derogatory. Beard thought that younger boys were not yet ready for a rigorous Scouting program and that admitting younger boys would make the program less attractive for older boys. Given his attachment to guns--this may have been a good isea. His opposition was one reason that the BSA postponed for years the adoption of a Cub proram. Largely for this reason Cubbing was delayed in America until 1930 even thiugh it was very successful in other countries. Today Cubbing is the BSA's most popular program.
Beard was a prlific writer. His best-known book, The American Boys’ Handy Book, was published in 1882. In addition to many articles on woodcraft and nature study, Beard wrote Boy Pioneers and Sons of Daniel Boone (1909), American Boys’ Book of Wild Animals (1921), and Wisdom of the Woods (1927). Beard's books included the following:
American Boy's Handy Book, 1882, 1903
The American Girl's Handy Book, 1887
The American Boy's Book of Sport, 1890
Moonlight and Six Feet of Romance, 1892
The Outdoor Handy Book , 1896
Jack of All Trades, 1900, 1904?
Field and Forest Handy Book, 1906
Animal Book and Campfire Stories, 1907
Boy Pioneers and Sons of Daniel Boone, 1909
Boat, Building, and Boating, 1912
Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties, 1914 ,
The American Boy's Book of Bugs, Butterflies and Beetles, 1916
The American Boy's Book of Sign's, Signals and Symbols, 1918
The American Boy's Book of Camp-Lore and Woodcraft, 1920
The American Boy's Book of Wild Animals, 1921
The Black Wolf-Pack , 1922,
American Boy's Book or Birds and Brownies of the Woods, 1923
Do It Yourself, 1925
Wisdom of the Woods, 1926, 1927?
Buckskin Book For Buckskin Men and Boys, 1929
Hardly A Man is Now Alive, 1939
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