Founded in 1846 by Charles Scribner and Isaac Baker, the Scribner company first published religious books. Baker died in 1850, and Scribner continued alone. In addition to publishing books, Scribner published several magazines, the most famous being Scribner's Monthly (1870-1881),"an illustrated magazine for the people." The magazine and its successor, Scribner's Magazine (1887-1939), attracted fresh young writers who also wrote books for the company.
Charles Scribner II took over in 1879 after the deaths of his father and older brother, and under his guidance, the company became identified with the giants of twentieth-century American literature, such as Henry James and Edith Wharton. In short succession, Charles Scribner's Sons published Ring Lardner, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Famed editors Maxwell Perkins and John Hall Wheelock realized that a new era in American literature was dawning, and in 1920, F. Scott Fitzgerald's first novel, This Side of Paradise, proclaimed the Jazz Age.
In 1978 Scribner acquired Atheneum, publishers of Edward Albee, Charles Johnson, and Theodore H. White. The Atheneum acquisition also brought with it the Rawson Associates imprint. And in 1984, the Scribner Book Companies, which by then included a great children's division and a distinguished reference division, merged with Macmillan.
Today, under publisher Susan Moldow and editor in chief Nan Graham, Scribner has a distinguished list of writers that includes Annie Proulx, whose novel The Shipping News (1993) won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; Frank McCourt, whose memoir Angela's Ashes (1996), became a mainstay of the New York Times bestseller list and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Don DeLillo, whose novel, Underworld (1997), was published to high praise. In 2001, The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon won The National Book Award for general nonfiction. Scribner has also launched the newly revised Joy of Cooking, and, with Déjà Dead, introduced crime writer Kathy Reichs. With the publication of Bag of Bones by Stephen King and Single & Single by John le Carré, Scribner has brought new readers to well-established and successful writers.
1846 - Scribner and Baker founded by Charles Scribner and Isaac Baker
1850 - Isaac Baker dies. Company becomes Charles Scribner and Company
1865 - First magazine published, Hours at Home, a quasi-religious publication
1870 - Magazine company is formed, Scribner & Company, and begins publication of Scribner's Monthly, a new magazine
1871 - Charles Scribner dies and is succeeded by John Blair Scribner, Company name changes to Scribner, Armstrong & Co.
1873 - St. Nicholas, a children's periodical launched under editor Mary Mapes Dodge
1878 - Company assumes name of Charles Scribner's Sons
1879 - John Blair Scribner dies and Charles Scribner II becomes head of the company
1887 - Scribner's Magazine begins publishing under editor Edward L. Burlingame
1894 - Company moves to 153-157 Fifth Avenue, a building designed by Scribner relative, Ernest Flagg
1913 - Company moves to a new building at Fifth Avenue and 48th Street, also designed by Ernest Flagg; Charles Scribner II's son, Charles, joins the company.
1928 - Charles Scribner II dies and his son Charles Scribner becomes head of the company
1938 - Scribner's Magazine ceases publication
1947 - Charles Scribner, Jr. joins the company
1952 - Charles Scribner dies and Charles Scribner, Jr. becomes head of the company
1976 - Charles Scribner III joins the company
1978 - Charles Scribner's Sons joins forces with Atheneum, which inclused Rawson Associates, and becomes The Scribner Book Companies
1984 - The Scribner Book Companies, including a children's department and a reference division, are merged into Macmillan
1994 - The Macmillan Publishing Company is bought by Simon & Schuster, Inc.
1995 - Charles Scribner, Jr. dies after a long illness
The trade adult imprints of Macmillan, Charles Scribner's Sons, and Atheneum are blended under the single name of Scribner, which includes Eleanor Rawson and Lisa Drew Books