Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Pico Rivera, California

Obscura Society LA: The Art of Bookbinding at Kater-Crafts

The age-old craft of bookbinding still manages to survive in the era of e-books

Join the Obscura Society LA and Field Agent Robert Hemedes on a guided tour of the bookbinding manufacturer Kater-Crafts.

For over six decades, Kater-Crafts has been a family run business designing and making covers for special edition prints and very old books who need a second lease on life. Opened in 1948 by family patriarch Mel Kavin, Kater-Crafts began as a library bindery. As the original business model gradually became unprofitable, the company shifted its focus to specialty bookbinding. The company once employed over a hundred employees, but is now down to a dozen and is run by Mel's three adult children. In the age of e-books, Kater-Crafts has managed to find its niche – part printing business and part garment manufacturing, the bookbinding craft is a hybrid between the two.

This event includes a tour of the factory, a viewing of the mini museum assembled by Mel Kavin from his personal collection of literary themed artifacts, and a pizza lunch with the staff.

Stay connected! Subscribe to the LA Obscura Society newsletter and be the first to find out about upcoming events.

Notes for this adventure:

- This event occurs on a weekday morning – specifically on a Monday.

- This event is family friendly, ages 12+

- Because we will be touring a manufacturing facility, please dress in pants and wear closed toe shoes. No high heels, sandals or flip flops allowed.

- - A signed and dated Liability Waiver is required from all attendees of this tour. The Liability Waiver will be collected at the start of the tour.

- Photography is allowed, but if you take photos of the workers, please ask for permission first.

- Pizza will be served at the end of the tour! The pizza will have gluten but if you have other dietary restrictions, please let us know in advance and we will try and order a pizza that you can consume.

All sales are final.