1838: George Palmer Putnam and John Wiley form the book publishing and
retail firm of Wiley & Putnam in New York.
1848: Wiley & Putnam's partnership is dissolved; Putnam's new firm, "G. Putnam Broadway," goes on to publish the works of Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and scores of other literary luminaries of the nineteenth century.
1866: G. Putnam Broadway becomes, "G. P. Putnam & Sons" when Putnam's three sons join their father's business.
1872: Upon George Palmer Putnam's death, his sons take over the business under its present name, G.P. Putnam's Sons.
1884: A young Theodore Roosevelt, enamoured of publishing, joins G.P. Putnam's Sons as a special partner. Over the years he wrote several works published by Putnam, including Naval War of 1812 and The Winning of the West.
1930: G.P. Putnam's Sons merges with the publishing firm of Minton, Balch & Co. Control of the company passes to Minton & Balch upon Palmer C. Putnam's retirement.
1935: Allen Lane publishes the first ten Penguin paperback books in London, filling the need for cheap editions of good-quality contemporary writing.
1936: Penguin Books Ltd. is formed. Within its first year the company sells over 3 million books.
1936: G. P. Putnam's Sons forms an alliance with London-based Coward-McCann (which became Coward, McCann & Geoghegan in 1971), which enables it to publish writers from both sides of the Atlantic, including Elizabeth Goudge, Siegfried Sassoon and, later John Le Carré.
1941: Puffin Books, a children's imprint, is founded by Penguin.
1945: Penguin's first reference book, The Penguin Dictionary of Science, is published.
1946: Penguin Australia is founded.
1946: The Penguin Classics series is launched with The Odyssey, which becomes Penguin's best-selling book.
1958: Putnam publishes Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov, unleashing a storm of controversy. Banned by public libraries in some American citiesand officially banned by the government of France--the book becomes a best-seller. Along with Norman Mailer's Deer Park, published by Putnam in 1955, Lolita is a landmark victory against the threat of censorship.
1960: The first unabridged version of Lady Chatterly's Lover is published by Penguin, causing the company to be charged under Britain's Obscene Publications Act. Against a backdrop of tremendous publicity the company is acquitted, marking a turning point in censorship laws in Britain. Penguin sells 2 million copies of the book in six weeks; the Allen Lane imprint sells another 1.3 million copies.
1960: Penguin Books celebrates its 25th Anniversary.
1961: Penguin Books goes public.
1961: Penguin Modern Classics is launched.
1965: G.P. Putnam's Sons acquires Berkley Books, a mass market paperback house.
1967: The first Penguin hardback is published under the Allen Lane Press imprint.
1970: Allen Lane dies; Penguin Books becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Pearson Longman Ltd.
1973: Penguin Canada, which was originally founded during World War II but stopped operating in the mid 1950's, is restarted.
1975: MCA, Inc. acquires The Putnam Publishing Group and The Berkley Publishing Group.
1975: Penguin Books merges with the prestigious New York-based Viking Press, whose impressive group of authors, including John Steinbeck, Saul Bellow and Arthur Miller, gives Penguin a strong presence in the U.S. market for the first time.
Viking's children's division, with more Caldecott and Newbery awards than any other publishing house, publishes many children's classics, including the Madeline books, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats and Robert McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings.
1979: Perigee Books, a trade paperback imprint is introduced by The Putnam Berkley Group.
1980: The Putnam Berkley Group acquires Philomel Books, a children's imprint.
1982: With the acquisition of Grosset & Dunlap, another children's publisher, Putnam emerges as one of America's premier children's book publishers. Grosset & Dunlap publish many popular children's series, including Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys and The Bobbsey Twins.
1983: Penguin acquires the publisher Frederick Warne, best known for its Beatrix Potter titles.
1985: Penguin Books marks 50th Anniversary
1986: Penguin acquires the New American Library/Dutton Books and merges them with its US operations. This acquisition includes Dutton Children's Books, publisher of the classic Winnie-the-Pooh stories and winner of numerous children's awards, including several Caldecott and Newbery medals. The acquisition also brings The Dial Press, another prestigious children's imprint with numerous awards.
1991: The Putnam Berkley Group acquires Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., a preeminent publisher of New Age books.
1993: The Putnam Berkley Group acquires Price Stern Sloan, Inc. and its diversified lines of children's books, humor, self-help books and novelty items such as calendars, puzzles and games.
1993: Penguin Audiobooks is launched, putting classics, twentieth-century classics and contemporary fiction and nonfiction on tape.
1995: The Putnam Berkley Group launches Riverhead Books, a new adult hardcover and trade paperback imprint.
1996: The Putnam Berkley Group is acquired by The Penguin Group. Putnam Berkley is merged with Penguin USA to form Penguin Putnam Inc.
1996: Penguin takes a 51% stake in Rough Guides, the highly acclaimed publisher of travel and music writing.
1998: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers announces the formation of a new imprint, Phyllis Fogelman Books.
1999: Penguin Putnam acquires The Avery Publishing Group, a publisher of books on health, fitness and other self-help topics. Avery's extensive backlist includes "industry bible" Prescription for Nutritional Healing by James and Phyllis Balch.
2000: Penguin Putnam and Alloy Online Inc. partner to create a new teen imprint, AlloyBooks.
2000: Penguin Putnam announces the creation of a new adult imprint, called BlueHen Books, headed by Fred Ramey and Greg Michalson.