Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Le Semeur (The Sower)
Simon & Schuster logo, circa 1961.
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Crossword puzzles first appeared in the New York World in 1913. By 1924, they had been a weekly feature for many years. According to Frederick Lewis Allen's Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920's Simon's aunt, a crossword devotee, asked him whether there was a book of these puzzles that she could give to a friend. Simon discovered that none had been published, and, with Schuster, launched a company to exploit the opportunity.
Their first book was marketed cleverly. To attract attention, it came with a pencil attached to it. Their advertising campaign implied that it was about to become a new fad:
- 1922—Mah Jong
- 1924—THE CROSSWORD-PUZZLE BOOK
The ad proved prophetic, and crossword puzzles were indeed the craze of 1924.
Simon & Schuster soon became a publisher of books of all kinds, and currently publishes over two thousand titles annually under thirty five different imprints.
In 1939, with Robert Fair de Graff, Simon & Schuster founded Pocket Books, America's first paperback publisher.
In 1942, Simon and Schuster, or "Essandess" as it is called in the initial announcment, launched the Little Golden Books series in cooperation with the Artists and Writers Guild. Simon & Schuster's partner in the venture was the Western Printing and Lithographing Company which handled the actual printing. Western Printing bought out Simon and Schuster's interest in 1958.
Simon & Schuster continues to be the preeminent U. S. publisher of crossword puzzle books.
Simon & Schuster is currently a division of media giant Viacom International Inc.
- "Announcing Little Golden Books." Publishers' Weekly. September 19, 1942. Pages 991–994.
- "Simon & Schuster Inc." International Directory of Company Histories. 4:671–672.
- "Simon & Schuster Inc." International Directory of Company Histories. 19:403–405.