A brief outline of the history of the company and its predecessors up to 1961 follows.

P.P. Mast launched a magazine (Far & Fireside) in 1877 as a means of promoting his agricultural products and hired John S. Crowell to manage the publication. After Mast's death, Crowell became the sole owner of the company in 1902 and changed its name to Crowell Publishing Company.

Peter F. Collier started P.F. Collier & Son as a magazine subscription house in 1875. The company launched what became Collier's magazine in April 1888. The magazine, along with P.F. Collier & Son's book publishing business, was sold to the Crowell Publishing Company in 1919.

Crowell and Collier merged in 1934, and the company's name was changed to Crowell-Collier Publishing Company to reflect that merger in 1939.

The British publishing house Macmillan started an American branch of the company in 1869, selling its interest in the branch to the Brett family in 1898, thereby creating the Macmillan Company. Crowell-Collier started buying open shares of the Macmillan Company in the late 1950s, eventually having a 52.8% controlling interest in the company by August 1960. The two companies merged on Dec. 30, 1960, with Macmillan operating as a subsidiary of Crowell-Collier until 1965, when the company was renamed Crowell-Collier & Macmillan, Inc.

New York Public Library, Crowell-Collier Publishing Company records, 1931-1955,


  • P.P. Mast hired John S. Crowell in 1877 to manage a new journal called Farm & Fireside, which he used as a way to promote his agricultural products.

  • In 1879, Mast relinquished control of the business to John S. Crowell.

  • The name was changed to Mast, Crowell and Kirkpatrick Publishers (Kirkpatrick was Mast’s nephew.)

  • When Mast died in 1898, the name was changed to Crowell and Kirkpatrick Publishers.

  • In 1902, Crowell bought out Kirkpatrick’s interest in the company and changed the name to Crowell Publishing Company.

  • In 1906, Crowell sold his interest to Joseph P. Knapp and George Hazen, who incorporated the company in NJ and kept the name Crowell Publishing Company.

  • Peter F. Collier started P.F. Collier & Son in 1875 as a subscription house. Collier’s magazine had its first issue on Apr. 28, 1888.

  • P.F. Collier’s only son, Robert J. Collier, became a full partner in 1898.

  • P.F. Collier died in 1909.

  • Robert J. Collier died in 1918.

  • Collier’s, along with Collier’s book publishing business, was sold in 1919 to the Crowell Publishing Company.

  • In 1934, Crowell Publishing merged with Collier.

  • In 1939, Crowell Publishing consolidated its operations in New York and renamed itself to Crowell-Collier Publishing Co.

    • George P. Brett opened the first American office of the British Macmillan publishing company in 1869.

    • Macmillan (UK) sold its American interest to the Brett family in 1898, creating the company Macmillan Publishing.

    • In Dec. 1959, Crowell-Collier acquired 29% of Macmillan and continued to buy shares on the open market.

    • By Aug. 1960, Crowell-Collier owned a 52.8% interest in Macmillan.

    • Crowell-Collier merged with Macmillan on Dec. 30, 1960.

    • Macmillan operated as a subsidiary of Crowell-Collier until 1965, when the company changed its name to Crowell-Collier & Macmillan Inc.

    • In the early 1970s, the company decided to change its name to Macmillan Inc., which generated pushback from the British Macmillan, resulting in concessions from the American company that allowed the name change to take effect on Jan. 1, 1973.

The 1934 merger of P.F. Collier with Crowell Publishing is in Tebbell at 513-514. Info on Crowell-Collier on p. 124 et seq.