American Book Company.

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The American Book Company (ABC) was an educational book publisher that published textbooks at the elementary school, secondary school and collegiate levels. The company was formed in 1890 by the consolidation of four publishing houses: Van Antwerp, Bragg and Co., A.S. Barnes and Co., D. Appleton and Co., and Iveson, Blakeman and Co. It operated successfully as the American Book Company for more than seventy years with the public school system and other educational institutions as its main clients, publishing educational titles on accounting, agriculture, art, civics, foreign languages, history (both ancient and modern), life sciences, literature, mathematics, penmanship, physical sciences, and various levels of readers.

In the 1960s and 1970s the company passed first to Litton Industries and then to the International Thomson Organization, finally being acquired by D. C. Heath and Company in 1981. ABC was eventually absorbed into D. C. Heath and ceased to exist as an imprint.

The company employed many noted artists as illustrators for its public school textbooks, including Norman Rockwell and Frederick Remington. It is perhaps best known for its series of McGuffey Readers, which sold 120 million copies between 1836 and 1960.

From the guide to the American Book Company Records, 1801-1971, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Industrial Life Photograph Collection, ca. 1920-1941 Baker Library, Harvard Business School
creatorOf Miner, Virginia Scott. Papers, 1914-1982. Indiana University
referencedIn Business Historical Society. Industrial Life Photograph Collection, ca. 1920-1941. Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
creatorOf Clark, Homer P. (Homer Pierce), 1868-1970. Homer Pierce Clark and family papers, 1680-1977 (bulk 1856-1970). Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Ben Rosen Papers, bulk, 1945-1991, 1936-2006 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Martha Dickinson Bianchi correspondence concerning publication of the poetry of the American poet, Emily Dickinson:, 1881-1943 (inclusive), 1925-1937 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Glueck, Sheldon, 1896-1990. Papers, 1916-1972 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
creatorOf American Book Company. Correspondence to Sarah M. Brinton, 1899. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn Wingenroth, Mae Slater. Mae Slater Wingenroth pamphlet collection, [1902?]-1966. Millersville University Library, McNairy Library
referencedIn Wendell Holmes Stephenson Papers, 1820-1968 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
creatorOf Dillon, Alice Christie, b. 1876. Papers, 1912-1931. Indiana University
creatorOf American Book Company. Correspondence with Johan Thorsten Sellin, 1933. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Archives. Record Group IIh, 1892-1896 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Dos Passos, John, 1896-1970. Papers of John Dos Passos [manuscript], 1896-1970. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn New York University. Chancellor's Office. Henry Mitchell MacCracken administrative records, 1884-1910. Churchill County Museum
referencedIn Howells family papers, 1850-1954 (inclusive). Houghton Library
creatorOf Griffin, G. J. [Culinary ephemera : companies and corporations]. Box 441. William L. Clements Library
referencedIn Lawrence F. Morico Papers., circa 1955-1958 Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Center.
creatorOf American Book Company Records, 1801-1971 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
creatorOf American Book Company. Correspondence with Theodore Dreiser, 1934. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966. William Ernest Hocking Papers, 1860-1979 Houghton Library
referencedIn Gay Wilson Allen Papers, 1801-1988 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
creatorOf Abbey Aaron Book Service. Trade catalogs of booksellers, 1874-1968. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
creatorOf American Book Company. Correspondence to Van Wyck Brooks, 1953. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Chancellor (Henry MacCracken), 1884-1910 New York University. Archives
referencedIn Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962. Additional papers, 1870-1969. Houghton Library
referencedIn Peck, Harry Thurston, 1856-1914. Harry Thurston Peck papers, 1878-1933. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf American Book Company. Correspondence to Marian Anderson, 1962. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn James B. Pinker and Son correspondence concerning John Galsworthy, 1901-1946. Houghton Library
referencedIn George A. Plimpton Papers, 1634-1956 Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn Georgia. Dept. of Education. Georgia State School Commissioner collection, 1878-1880, 1889-1892. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Allen, Gay Wilson, 1903- person
associatedWith American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
correspondedWith Bianchi, Martha Dickinson, 1866-1943 person
associatedWith Bilbo, Queenie M. person
associatedWith Brinton, Sarah M., person
associatedWith Business Historical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Clark, Homer P. (Homer Pierce), 1868-1970. person
associatedWith Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962 person
associatedWith Dillon, Alice Christie, b. 1876. person
associatedWith Dos Passos, John, 1896-1970. person
associatedWith Georgia. Dept. of Education. corporateBody
associatedWith Glueck, Sheldon, 1896- person
associatedWith Hartwick, Harry. person
correspondedWith Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966 person
correspondedWith James B. Pinker and Son. corporateBody
associatedWith Miner, Virginia Scott. person
associatedWith Morico, Lawrence F. person
associatedWith New York University. Chancellor's Office. corporateBody
associatedWith Peck, Harry Thurston, 1856-1914. person
associatedWith Plimpton, George A. (George Arthuer), 1855-1936 person
associatedWith Rosen, Ben person
correspondedWith Stephenson, Wendell Holmes, 1899-1970 person
associatedWith Wingenroth, Mae Slater. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Education, Secondary--Textbooks--Specimens
Education, Primary--Textbooks--Specimens
Publishers and publishing--United States
Education, Elementary--Textbooks--Specimens
Educational publishing--United States
Publishing, printing and book arts
Readers (Elementary)
Arithmetic--Study and teaching
Textbooks--United States
Business and industry
Readers (Secondary)
Vocational education--Textbooks--Specimens

Corporate Body



Ark ID: w60w298v

SNAC ID: 16376488