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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Session:         Page of 1029

Q:

This is to change the subject a tiny bit, but have you ever gotten into the field of textbooks?

Cerf:

We, of course, had this reference department.

Q:

Right. With the dictionary.

Cerf:

And we began doing other reference books: the Bergan Evans and whatnot. We realized that there was a lot of gold, increasing profits, to be gained in textbooks. We had a burgeoning college department. It wasn't very big but it was growing. We were nowhere in elementary or high school texts, so we began thinking that we ought to buy, if we could, some small textbook house.

After looking around for awhile--this was before all of the merger rage took hold--we did find one that looked very promising called the L. V. Singer Co., located in Syracuse. Mr. Singer had worked, I think, for Scott Forsman or one of the other big juvenile houses as a salesman and he had come to them years before with ideas for some books that he thought would be perfect for New York State. They said, quite rightly for them, that they were not publishing books that were just going to be used in one state. So Mr. Singer left his job and started his own business with his wife, Frances Singer, and they got out these books. They were great successes in New York and this was the beginning of the Singer Co. When Mr. Singer died, Mrs. Singer took over the business and ran it superbly.



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