CASSELL, JOHN (1817-1865), British publisher, was born in Manchester on the 23rd of January 1817. His father was the landlord of a public-house, and John was apprenticed to a joiner. He was self-educated, gaining by his own efforts a considerable acquaintance with English literature and a knowledge of French. He came to London in 1836 to work at his trade, but his energies at this time were chiefly centred in the cause of temperance, for which he was an active worker. In 1847 he established himself as a tea and coffee merchant, and soon after started a publishing business with the aim of supplying good literature to the working classes. From the offices of the firm, which became in 1859 Messrs. Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co., were issued the Popular Educator (1852-1855), the Technical Educator (1870-1872), the Magazine of Art (1878-1903), Cassell's Magazine (from 1852), and numerous editions of standard works. A special feature of Cassell's popular books was the illustration. At the time of the Crimean War he procured from Paris the cuts used in L'Illustration, and by printing them in his Family Paper (begun in 1853) secured a large circulation for it. The firm was converted in 1883 into a limited liability company, under the name of Cassell & Company, Limited. John Cassell died in London on the 2nd of April 1865.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)