Publishing: A Meeting of Minds

In the Encyclopaedia Britannica, that 35 million-word compendium of classified knowledge, the G. & C. Merriam Co. rates only two brief mentions. Last week Merriam leaped right off the pages and into Britannica's corporate arms. Chairman William Benton's $13,960,000 purchase of the publisher of the Merriam-Webster dictionaries not only unites two of the world's best-known reference works, but two of its oldest. Prosperous Britannica, Scotland-born but American-owned since 1901, is 196; debt-free Merriam, which bought Noah Webster's work from his heirs in 1843, is a spry 133. Merriam's sales last year:...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!