D. C. Thomson &
Co. Ltd. (1905 - ?)
D. C. Thomson & Company, Limited, is a Dundee-based publishing company best known for producing The Dundee Courier, The Sunday Post, Oor Wullie, The Broons, The Beano, The Dandy, and Commando comics. It also owns Parragon and the Aberdeen Journals Group which publishes the Press and Journal. It was a significant shareholder in the former ITV company Southern Television. Through its subsidiary DC Thompson Family History the company owns several websites including Friends Reunited and Findmypast. The company also owns children books publisher Parragon.
The company began as a branch of the Thomson family business when William Thomson became the sole proprietor of Charles Alexander & Company, publishers of Dundee Courier and Daily Argus. In 1884, David Coupar Thomson took over the publishing business, and established it as D.C. Thomson in 1905. The firm flourished, and took its place as the third J in the "Three Js", the traditional summary of Dundee industry ('jam, jute and journalism'). Thomson was notable for his conservatism, vigorously opposing the introduction of trade unions into his workforce, and for refusing to employ Catholics.
The company produces more than 200 million comics, magazines, and newspapers every year from offices in Dundee, Glasgow, Manchester, and London. In June 2010, 350 jobs at D.C. Thomson were made redundant with the closure of the West Ward Printworks in Dundee, along with a section of the Kingsway Print Plant.
Although the principal offices are now located outside Dundee city centre at Kingsway, the Courier Building at Meadowside has been retained as the company headquarters. This 1902 building was designed to resemble an American red stone, steel reinforced office block. When a tower extension was added in 1960, the architect T Lindsay Grey kept the same style.
In 2009 D.C. Thomson & Company acquired the magazine company This England Publishing, which included This England magazine and Evergreen quarterly magazine. There were nine job losses, with the editorial team remain in Cheltenham. In the same year D.C. Thompson acquired the Friends Reunited website from ITV for GB£25.6m, but by 2011was valued at GB£5.2m.
As of December 2013, the company employed around 1,900 workers.
The Story of Robinson Crusoe. Told in Pictures. London, D. C.
Thomson & Co. Ltd., nd
Peter G. Thomson (1851-1931)
Marriage to Laura Gamble
In 1875 Peter married Laura Gamble of Louisville Kentucky. According to family lore, Peter’s mother asked him to leave work early on a Saturday, when he worked for the Robert Clark Company, to escort her and her friends to a matinee. Laura Gamble, in Cincinnati visiting a family friend, was included in this group. On the final night of her stay, Peter took her to Pike's Opera House. Laura returned home to Louisville, but they continued a courtship from a distance. Peter later proposed. Family members say they had seen each other only seven times before their wedding day.
In 1882 they started to publish children’s books and games. Later, valentines were added. The children's books sold for a dime.
This business was so successful that it was bought by the McLaughlin Brothers of Brooklyn, N. Y., in an effort to end Thomson’s competition in children's publications. Enough was made from this sale that Peter could move his family from downtown Cincinnati to College Hill in 1884.
The Beginnings of The Champion Coated Paper Company
While Peter G. Thomson was publishing, the printing industry was undergoing vast changes led by the invention of the halftone process. This printing process used tiny dots of varying size to render a detailed picture rather than engraved lines.
This new process required paper smoother than any available at that time. With his experience as a printer, Thomson realized that a high quality and inexpensive supply of such paper would have an unlimited potential market.
Thomson seized the opportunity and Champion Coated Paper Co was incorporated in 1893. Champion Coated Paper began in Hamilton Ohio, along the Great Miami River, about 20 miles north of Cincinnati.
One of Thomson's strengths was constant innovation, seeking more effective and less expensive ways for production. Peter G. had three maxims: establish a good credit and then use it as much as you can; keep constantly plugging; there is no luck connected with success, nor any secret. The surest way is to work hard.
Through W.W. II, Champion remained the largest coated paper manufacturer plant in the U.S.
[from Laurel Court Home of Peter G, Thomson]
Robinson Crusoe. Cincinnati, Peter G. Thomson, nd
[Chimney Corner Series]
Robinson Crusoe in Words of One Syllable. Cincinnati, Peter G.