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قراءة كتاب A Brief Account of the Educational Publishing Business in the United States

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‏اللغة: English
A Brief Account of the Educational Publishing Business in the United States

A Brief Account of the Educational Publishing Business in the United States

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 2

School-books of New England, by George E. Littlefield, and a brochure published by G. & C. Merriam Company that gives us some interesting glimpses into the history of their business and of the men who have published and distributed to the world the famous Webster dictionaries.

There are also extant a great many valuable periodical, magazine and newspaper articles which set forth in some detail accounts of the founders of other nineteenth century publishing houses, which accounts, together with what has appeared in book form, make a rather inchoate but highly valuable mass of data that could and should be compiled and published as soon as a scholarly man of historical habit can be found to edit and prepare it for the press.

Having a knowledge of the facts just stated, you will agree with me when I say that a writer of a paper to be read in thirty or sixty minutes on a subject so broad in its scope and so important as the one assigned me, can’t do more than “rattle ’round” in its field, to quote Starr King’s figure. If he should try to do more, he would be tempting the Fates.

Realizing, as you must, how unsatisfactory the isolated and unrelated fragments of our history are, do you not feel, as do I, that this Association should take early steps to find a thoroughly competent man to prepare for the fraternity of educational publishers a complete history of their business in America from the day when The New England Primer was printed in Boston to the present time?

The attention of people is frequently called to the great march of progress since colonial days in all that helps to make the world a better place in which to live. It is truthfully said that both medicine and surgery have been perfected to such a high degree that the length of human life greatly has been increased; that sanitary science is so well understood, and its principles so generally practiced, that disease germs born in filth no longer exist in such abundance as in the days when, because of the ignorance or indifference of the majority of the population, food, air, and water carried these breeders of disease to their unhappy victims. We are reminded of the electric light, the telegraph, the wireless, the ocean cable, and the telephone; of the leviathan of the ocean—the great and palatial steamship that crosses the Atlantic in five days; of the aeroplane that has demonstrated its ability to fly across seas, oceans, and wide expanses of land, carrying passengers and mail at a speed almost inconceivable; of the transcontinental lines of railroad that transport people in comfort from ocean to ocean in six or seven days; of the splendid specimens of art housed in our great museums; of the beautiful homes, the really elegant school and college buildings, the great business structures planned by architects as skilled as any the world has produced since the days of the Greeks and the Moors; of the sewing machine, the reaper, the steam plow, the powerful motor truck, and the automobile; of the mighty steel bridges that span our wide rivers; and, in view of all this, we are told by the historian and the philosopher that the last century has been the Golden Age of the world, that all this has brought man a little closer to God, and God a little closer to man.

The twentieth century school or college textbook, and the means employed in making it, evidence a progress in the art of book-making and the character of the book made equally wonderful; for the modern educational publication differs in content and format from the textbook of the early days even more than the modern schoolhouse from the log cabin used a century or two ago to shelter the unfortunate youngsters who shivered and suffered therein while they were receiving such poor instruction as ignorant masters and dames could give them.

But there are a great number of people in this country, some of whom find their way into State, County, City, and Township Boards of Education, who