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|Parent company||Pearson Education|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||Glenview, Illinois|
Scott Foresman and Company was founded in 1896 by Erastus Howard Scott, Editor and President; Hugh A. Foresman, Salesman and Secretary; and his brother, William Coates Foresman, Treasurer. However, the company's origins extend back several years earlier.
E. H. Scott started in business in 1889, when he and C. J. Albert of the Albert Teachers Agency formed a partnership, "Albert and Scott". During this early period, the company occupied less than 100 square feet (9.3 m2) in an office on Wabash Avenue in Chicago. The company’s first publication was Bellum Helveticum, a high school Latin textbook, copyright 1889.
In 1894, Hugh Foresman purchased the interest of Mr. Albert and joined E. H. Scott. The following year, the corporation Albert and Scott purchased the publishing business, rights, and stock of George Sherwood and Company, which also published textbooks. Also in 1895, the firm moved its business to larger quarters at 307 S. Wabash Avenue in Chicago. On February 13, 1896, W. Coates Foresman decided to join the business, and the corporate name was changed to Scott, Foresman and Company. That same year, the young company purchased S. C. Griggs and Company, whose catalogue included a long list of miscellaneous books, among which was Robert’s Rules of Order.
When the company had been in business for only one year, it secured its first large state adoption. In 1897, the state of Kansas awarded Scott, Foresman and Company a five-year contract for eight publications. The following year, the firm moved to 623 South Wabash Avenue. In 1898, Hugh Foresman was elected Vice President. At this time, the company decided to publish books in the elementary field. In 1908 it recruited RC McNamara as office manager from Princeton University who ran a cooperative store at Princeton which became the University Store. The business plan of the U-Store today is pretty much the same one that he devised in 1905 at age 24.
The Dick and Jane series began in the 1930s and was the creation of Zerna Sharp, a Scott, Foresman reading consultant. In 1966, Scott, Foresman moved from Chicago into its current location in Glenview, Illinois, designed by Jeffery Finkle and a new distribution center was opened in Pinola, Indiana. Scott, Foresman became a public corporation and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, but the company was taken private in a leveraged buyout in 1985.
William Morrow and Company was acquired by Scott, Foresman in 1967, but it was sold to the Hearst Corporation in 1981. Scott Foresman acquired South-Western Publishing the same year, which it owned until its 1986 sale to International Thomson.
In 1986, Time Inc. bought Scott, Foresman. Around that time the comma was dropped from the company's name. Three years later, Time sold Scott Foresman to HarperCollins, the book publishing subsidiary of News Corporation. In 1998, News Corp sold the brand to Pearson PLC, the global publisher and owner of Penguin and the Financial Times. Then Scott Foresman, along with more than 100 other educational brands, merged to become Pearson, with Scott Foresman adopting the new name, Pearson Scott Foresman.
Scott Foresman were well known for their publications of the popular Thorndike Barnhart range of school dictionaries, namely the Scott Foresman Advanced Dictionary, Scott Foresman Intermediate Dictionary, and Scott Foresman Beginning Dictionary also published as the Thorndike Barnhart Student Dictionary, the Thorndike Barnhart Advanced Junior Dictionary, and the Thorndike Barnhart Junior Dictionary. These dictionaries were abandoned in the first year of Scott Foresman's acquisition by Pearson Education in 1998.