Franklin Head

Would that not be a fine title for a horror movie? You are already imagining the whole series: Horror of the Franklin Head, Revenge of the Franklin Head, Return of the Franklin Head, Daughter of the Franklin Head, Abbott and Costello Meet the Franklin Head, and The Franklin Head Rockin’ in Aruba.

But we are not planning a horror movie. Instead, we are announcing a new publishing venture that takes its name from an old publishing venture.

In 1800, a young man named Zadok Cramer—only 26 years old—came to Pittsburgh and set up a bookstore, library, and publishing house on Market Street. Invoking the patron of all American printers, he put out the sign of the Franklin Head, and immediately set to work supplying the West with books at Eastern prices.

Almost at once the Franklin Head became the literary center of Pittsburgh. Cramer began with yearly almanacs. His famous Navigator, a guide to the Ohio and Mississippi all the way to New Orleans, went through edition after edition. Soon he was publishing everything from popular novels to school textbooks to a massive two-volume Bible dictionary with sumptuous illustrations.

In tribute to Zadok Cramer and his love for his adopted city, Father Pitt and Dr. Boli have taken the name of the Franklin Head for their new joint publishing venture. At the Franklin Head you will find books about Pittsburgh, printed to our usual high standards and sold at economical prices. Our first production is a new edition of Incidents of the Insurrection by Hugh Henry Brackenridge—the only edition in print right now of the most valuable primary source for the history of the Whiskey Rebellion. You will recognize the name of the well-known writer who contributed the introduction.

The address is easy to remember: