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Beach, Sylvia Woodbridge (14 March 1887–06 October 1962), bookstore owner and publisher, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the second of three daughters of Sylvester Woodbridge Beach, a Presbyterian minister, and Eleanor Orbison, an artist. Disinclined toward both religion and formal education, she often pleaded illness and eventually fled the Presbyterian parsonage of Princeton, New Jersey, for Europe. Beach spent 1907–1908 and 1911–1912 in Florence, 1914–1916 in Spain, and in midsummer of 1916 settled in Paris, where her father had served as associate pastor at the American Church from 1902 to 1905. Paris would remain her home until her death there forty-six years later....

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Dobson, Thomas (1751–09 March 1823), bookseller, printer, and publisher of the first comprehensive encyclopedia produced in the United States, was born probably near Edinburgh, Scotland. His family and early professional backgrounds are unknown, but by 1777, when he married Jean Paton of New North Parish, he could claim to be a member of the Edinburgh bookselling fraternity. Three daughters were born in Scotland, and a son, Judah, who later became a full partner in the firm of Thomas Dobson and Son, was born in Philadelphia around 1792....

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Gaine, Hugh (1726–25 April 1807), printer-editor and bookseller, was born in Portglenone in the parish of Ahoghill, Ireland, the son of Hugh Gaine and his wife (name unknown). At age fourteen he began his apprenticeship to Samuel Wilson and James Magee, Belfast printers. When the partnership split in 1744, Gaine left Ireland for America and settled in New York City, where he became a printer’s journeyman for ...

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Hall, Samuel (02 November 1740–30 October 1807), publisher, bookseller, and printer, was born in Medford, Massachusetts, the son of Jonathan Hall and Anna Fowle. As a youth, he served an apprenticeship to his uncle, Daniel Fowle, publisher of the New Hampshire Gazette. Hall then moved to Rhode Island where in August 1762 he became the partner of ...

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Mein, John (1732–1810), bookseller, printer, and Loyalist publisher, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of John Mein, a burgess and guildsman of Edinburgh and a slater by trade. His mother’s name is unknown. John, Jr., was also enrolled as a burgess and guildsman in December 1760. Little is known about Mein apart from his role in supporting British policy during the revolutionary crisis. He emigrated to Boston in November 1764 and set up the first of his three shops in company with ...

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Nicholson, Timothy (02 November 1828–15 September 1924), Quaker reformer and printer, was born in Perquimans County, North Carolina, the son of Josiah Nicholson, a teacher and farmer, and Anna White. Both parents came from families long prominent in Quaker affairs in North Carolina, and by Timothy Nicholson’s own account, their influence and that of Quaker neighbors was such that he never questioned Quaker teachings. He was educated in the Quaker Belvidere Academy in Perquimans County and at the Friends Boarding School (now Moses Brown School) in Providence, Rhode Island. He married twice, first in 1853 to Sarah N. White, who died in 1865, and then in 1868 to her sister, Mary White. There were six children by the first marriage and two by the second....

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Theobald, Paul (1900–06 October 1955), publisher and bookseller, was born in Russia to German parents (names unknown). Theobald’s large family—he was the youngest of nine siblings—immigrated in 1914 to the United States, where three of Theobald’s older brothers already lived. The family settled in Chicago; there Theobald enrolled at the Art Institute, where for the next two years he took courses in portrait painting and stage design before entering the army in 1918. After World War I ended in November of that year, he was discharged and soon resumed his studies at the Art Institute, taking classes at night....

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Timothy, Elizabeth (?–1757), newspaper publisher, printer, and bookseller, was born in Holland. Details of her parentage and early life remain unknown. She arrived in Philadelphia with her French Hugenot husband, Louis ( Lewis Timothy), in September 1731 and later followed him to Charleston, South Carolina, in 1734. In Charleston Louis anglicized their French name from Timothée to Timothy and changed the spelling of his given name to Lewis. ...

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Weems, Mason Locke (11 October 1759–23 May 1825), Episcopal priest, writer, and book agent, was born at “Marshes Seat,” near Herring Bay, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, the son of David Weems, occupation unknown, and Esther Hill. Very little is known about his early life, except what Bishop ...