J. B. Lippincott & Co.

J. B. Lippincott & Co.
Status Defunct
Founded 1836
Founder Joshua Ballinger Lippincott
Successor Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (medicine, nursing, health professions)
HarperCollins (adult, junior)
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location Philadelphia
Publication types Books, Journals, Magazines

J. B. Lippincott & Co. was an American publishing house founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1836 by Joshua Ballinger Lippincott. It was incorporated in 1885 as J. B. Lippincott Company.[1]:26–29


Joshua Ballinger Lippincott, by Thomas Eakins

1836 - 1977

J. B. Lippincott & Co. began business publishing Bibles and prayer books before expanding into history, biography, fiction, poetry, and gift books. The company later added almanacs, medicine and law, school textbooks, and dictionaries. In 1849, Lippincott acquired Grigg, Elliot & Co., a significant publisher and wholesaler whose origins dated back to printer and bookseller Benjamin and Jacob Johnson in 1792. In 1850 J. B. Lippincott & Co. became Lippincott, Grambo & Co. but reverted to its former name in 1855. The company was incorporated in 1878 as J. B. Lippincott Company. Lippincott published the first textbook of nursing in the US in 1878 and the first issue of the American Journal of Nursing in 1900.[2] By the end of the 19th century, Lippincott was one of the largest and best-known publishers in the world.[1]:16 Lippincott's Monthly Magazine, a popular periodical containing a complete novel, short stories, poetry, and opinion, was published in the US and the UK from 1868 to 1914. During the 20th century Lippincott also became a major publisher of schoolbooks for elementary and high school education and of references, textbooks, and journals in medicine and nursing.[1]:44–48

One editor asked Patrick O'Brian to write a book of nautical fiction following the death of author C. S. Forrester, who wrote the Horatio Hornblower series for another publishing house. O'Brian's first historical novel in what became a series of 20 completed novels, Master and Commander was published in 1969.[3] Collins in the UK took up the series, until W. W. Norton & Company "discovered" the series in 1991, re-publishing all books before 1991 in the US as paperbacks, then publishing at the same time as the British publisher until the last completed novel in 1999.[4] Without Lippincott's insight, the series would not have been written.

1978 - 1995

In 1978, J. B. Lippincott Company was acquired by Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. Lippincott's trade, juvenile and elementary and high school divisions were merged into Harper's. The remaining publishing activities, in medicine, nursing, and allied health, were combined with Harper's programs to form "J.B. Lippincott - the Health Professions Publisher of Harper & Row." In 1990, the company was acquired by Wolters Kluwer N.V. of The Netherlands. The J. B. Lippincott Company celebrated its 200th anniversary in 1992.[1]:44–48

1996 - present

Wolters Kluwer merged Lippincott with its other medical publisher, Raven Press, in 1996 to form Lippincott-Raven Publishers. In 1998 Wolters Kluwer acquired medical publisher Williams & Wilkins and combined it with Lippincott-Raven to form Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. After further internal reorganization at Wolters Kluwer in 2002, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ceased to exist as an operational entity; instead, the name is now used solely as a publishing imprint of Wolters Kluwer Health.

The J. B. Lippincott Headquarters Building, built in 1900 on S. 6th Street across from Washington Square, and designed by William B. Pritchett in the Italianate style


Presidents of J. B. Lippincott Company[1]:52

  • Joshua Ballinger Lippincott (1885-1886)
  • Craige Lippincott (1886-1911)
  • J. Bertram Lippincott (1911-1926), (Chairman, 1926-1940)
  • Joseph Wharton Lippincott (1926-1949), (Chairman, 1949-1958)
  • Howard K. Bauernfeind (1949-1958), (Chairman, 1958-1973)
  • Joseph W. Lippincott, Jr. (1958-1978), (Chairman 1974-1978)
  • Barton H. Lippincott (1978-1981), (Chairman, 1981-1987)
  • Edward B. Hutton, Jr. (1981-1983)
  • Lewis Reines (1985-1986)

  • Peter D. Nalle (1987-1990)
  • Alan M. Edelson (1990-1994)
  • Mary Martin Rogers (1995-1996)

Co-Presidents of Lippincott-Raven Publishers

  • Mary Martin Rogers and Joseph W. Lippincott III (1996-1998)

Co-Presidents of Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

  • Edward B. Hutton, Jr. and Joseph W. Lippincott III (1998-2000)
  • Jeffrey Smith and Tim Satterfield (2000-2002)

Notable authors


See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Freeman, J. Stuart (1992). Towards a Third Century of Excellence: An Informal History of the J. B. Lippincott Company on the Occasion of Its Two-Hundredth Anniversary. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co. ISBN 9780397512980.
  2. J. B. Lippincott & Co. (1967). The Author and his Audience: With a Chronology of Major Events in the Publishing History of J. B. Lippincott Company. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co. pp. 75–76.
  3. Bruce Trinque. "Pagination of Various Aubrey-Maturin Novel Editions". Retrieved 28 November 2014. The first three Patrick O'Brian Aubrey-Maturin novels were published in the US by Lippincott and the next two by Stein & Day. US publication of the novels was not resumed until 1991 until W.W. Norton began a reissue of the series, at first in trade paperback format but later in hardcover.
  4. Mark Horowitz (8 September 1991). "Down to the Sea in Ships". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 December 2014. Two of my favorite friends are fictitious characters; they live in more than a dozen volumes always near at hand. Their names are Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, and their creator is a 77-year-old novelist named Patrick O'Brian, whose 14 books about them have been continuously in print in England since the first, "Master and Commander," was published in 1970. O'Brian's British fans include T. J. Binyon, Iris Murdoch, A. S. Byatt, Timothy Mo and the late Mary Renault, but, until recently, this splendid saga of two serving officers in the British Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars was unavailable in this country, apart from the first few installments which went immediately out of print. Last year, however, W. W. Norton decided to reissue the series in its entirety, and so far nine of the 14 have appeared here, including the most recent chapter, The Nutmeg of Consolation.
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