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ROBINSON CRUSOE -  An English Graphical Bibliography 

PUBLISHERS

C (cont.)
 

Thomas Y. Crowell & Co. (1876-1979)
Crowell occupied 744 Broadway in 1876; moved in 1881 to Clinton Hall (13 Astor Place?); to 46 East 14th in 1893; and when the Boston bindery and 46 East 14th leases expired together in 1900, moved to 426-428 Broadway [where it remain until 1926 when removed to 27th Street and 4th Avenue]. The Boston bindery was located first at 57 Washington, then 93 Federal, then 65 Kingston, and "finally" at 100 Purchase Street. (Tebbel). Red Line Poets had 45 titles in 1882 (DLB 49). T.Y. Crowell of New York was not primarily a publisher of cheap books, but did issue a number of books at low prices. Concerning the Crowell series of British poets at a dollar a volume, the Publishers' Weekly noted that, "The 'dollar stores' themselves can scacrely get below these prices, even by the assistance of frequent compromises.'" [12:119, 1877] (Shove). The name is pronounced "Crow-ell".

THOMAS YOUNG CROWELL was born the 29th of May, 1836, in West Dennis, Massachusetts; he died at his home in Montclair, N. J., July 29th, 1915. He attended Yarmouth Academy briefly, but starting at age 14 worked for a commission house in Boston which soon went bankrupt, then went to sea until at age 20 (1856) he took a menial position in Benjamin Bradley's Boston bookbindery. Bradley had founded his bindery in 1834 and "was in a sense the pioneer in cloth binding in this country." During a difficult business period, he kept books for Bradley and Bradley's son-in-law. He married a second cousin in 1860, and rose in rank to general manager at Bradley's. Bradley died in 1862, and Crowell was invited by the executors to operate the business for the benefit of the estate. He did this for three years, then entered into a five-year partnership with Bradley's widow, buying her share in 1870 and placing the firm in his own name.

During the panic of 1873, he acquired the plates, bound books, and sheet stock of a religious publisher, Warren & Wyman of New York, which "marked the start of the gradual evolution of Mr. Crowell's business from the binding of books to the publishing of them--also of his entrance into New York." In 1876 he began publishing books, with Warren Wyman as manager, a nephew, L. Howes Crowell, in charge of sales, and responsibility for day-to-day operations of the bindery in the hands of his brother-in-law, E. Osborne Crowell. His son, T. Irving Crowell, joined the business in 1882. Another son, Jeremiah Osborne Crowell, was later sales manager. [Variously taken from T. Irving Crowell, Thomas Young Crowell 1836-1915 (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1926, reprinted 1954)]. The family issued a profitable line of reference works: Roget's International Thesaurus; Dictionary of Business and Finance; Social Science Series. They also published a variety of fiction titles: Frank Heller detective/mystery series; children's books; gift volumes.

Tebbel (vol. 3, page 527) notes that T. Y. Crowell was succeeded by T. Irving Crowell (1866-1942) until he retired to chairman of the board in 1937, being in turn succeeded by Robert L. Crowell, a grandson of T.Y., with two other grandsons in the firm at that time. In 1938, Elizabeth Riley joined Crowell to develop a children's book division, "becoming one of the industry's leaders." In 1968 Crowell was acquired by Dun & Bradstreet but remained an independent sub-division of that company, and in 1974 it itself acquired Abelard-Schuman, Chandler Publishing, Criterion Books, The John Day Company, and Intext Educational Publishers. In 1979 this entire assemblage was taken over by Harper & Row. A portion of the firm's archive, 1926-1963, including 11 feet of correspondence, is in the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Library. [from The Lucille Project]

  1. []. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.  New York, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., nd   [inscribed 1889 ]

  2. []. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe; including memoir of the author, and an essay on his writings. New York, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1868 [e50bin]   

  3. []. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe; including memoir of the author, and an essay on his writings. New York, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., nd 

  4. []. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.  New York, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., nd    [inscribed 1897]

  5. []. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner.  New York, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., nd   [inscribed 1899 ]

  6. []. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner.  New York, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., nd   [inscribed 1899 ]

  7. cover[]. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner.  New York, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., nd   [inscribed 1899 ]
  8. []. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner.  New York, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1899  [14]

  9. []. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner.  New York, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1899   

  10. []. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner. New York, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., nd

  11. []. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner. New York, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., nd

  12. []. The Life and Strange Adventures of ROBINSON CRUSOE, Part I. The Life and Strange Adventures of ROBINSON CRUSOE, Part II. Serious Reflections During the Life and Surprising Adventures of ROBINSON CRUSOE With His Vision of the Angelic World, Part III New York, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1903   [87]

  13. Elias, Edith L.. The Children's Robinson Crusoe. New York, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., nd    [inscribed 1915]

  14. []. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. New York, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., nd    [inscribed 1916]

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