Wednesday, February 9, 2011

D.C. Heath and Co. with an Advertising Postcard

An advertising postcard from 1897 for D. C. Heath and Company is shown here today. Rarely do the publishers of educational books get any significant mention in book blogs or on rare book sites. I thought this postcard might be a nice way to introduce this publishing house.

Daniel Collamore Heath founded his publishing house in 1885. He was born in Salem, Maine in 1843 and later graduated from Amherst College in 1868. He taught school for awhile and was superintendent of schools in Farmington Maine for a year. Heath attended the Bangor Theological Seminary after college also but illness prevented his graduation and subsequent entry into the ministry.

Boston office of D.C. Heath and Company beginning in 1914

Another educational publishing firm, the Ginn Brothers, offered him a job as a salesman for the books of Ginn's company and because of Heath's great success he was offered a permanent job with Ginn, opening Ginn's New York Office Heath was made a partner in 1876 when one of the Ginn brothers retired. The firm was renamed Ginn and Heath at that time. Nine years later in 1885 Heath went out on his own founding the D.C. Heath and Company publishing house.

Heath and his company felt they had a new idea for education. They concentrated on science. In 1886 there were only 24 books and pamphlets on their list but half were science related. These science texts were designed to have the student understand concepts and not just memorize facts.

Heath died in 1908 but the company carried on with the publication of textbooks and educational titles.

Although it began in Boston, by 1925 D.C. Heath also had offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, London and San Francisco.

In 1995 D. C. Heath and Company was acquired by Houghton Miflin for 455 million dollars.