The Harper Fire of 1853

The Harper offices in New York City were claimed by fire in 1853, when a plumber lit a lamp with a roll of paper and then attempted to extinguish the burning roll in a tub of water. More

The Steam-Powered Press

For years, the Harper brothers relied on a white draft horse named Dobbin, who plodded a circular path in the basement of their offices, turning a wooden shaft that powered the Treadwell hand press two floors above, until new technology sent him out to pasture. More

The Pre-Packaged Library

The Harper brothers created collections of titles that allowed readers to amass an entire library instead of buying just a single book. More

Publishing Firsts: Stereotyping

The Harper brothers first began publishing in the early 1800s, when emerging technologies were fundamentally changing the process of printing–replacing the painstaking compositing, inking, and pulling processes needed for each page. More

Publishing Firsts: Producing Books Electronically

Although word-processing programs and electronic typewriters had been around since the late 1960s, Harper & Row was the first to help pioneer electronic publishing with Andrew Garve’s The Long Short Cut in 1968, which was, according to the New York Times, “the first book set into type completely by electronic composition.” More