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Chilton

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Chilton
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Wikipedia: Chilton Company

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Chilton Automobile Directory

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A brand of trade magazines and automotive shop manuals started in 1896 and now an imprint of Cengage Learning.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Chilton Company page on 12 July 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Chilton Company (AKA Chilton Printing Co., Chilton Publishing Co., Chilton Book Co. and Chilton Research Services) is a former publishing company, most famous for its trade magazines, and automotive manuals. It also provided conference and market research services to a wide variety of industries. Chilton grew from a small publisher of a single magazine to a leading publisher of business to business magazines, consumer and professional automotive manuals, craft and hobby books, and a large well known marketing research company.

In the early years, its flagship magazine was Iron Age. In 1955, Chilton's profit reached $1 million for the first time, of which Iron Age accounted for $750,000. By 1980, Iron Age's revenue and status had declined due to the reduction in the size of the US metalworking manufacturing industry, and Jewelers Circular Keystone captured the position of Chilton's most profitable magazine. While Chilton had leading magazines in several different industries, the Chilton name is most strongly associated with the consumer and professional automotive manuals, which Cengage Learning continues to license or publish.

The company's origins go back to July 1896, and the first issue of Cycle Trade Journal, edited by James Artman who became the first president of the future Chilton Company. In 1899 the magazine changed its name to Cycle & Automobile Trade Journal. A 1900 magazine masthead listed Musselman & Buzby as the exclusive advertising representatives for Cycle & Automobile Trade Journal. In 1900 George Buzby, C. A. Musselman, and James Artman merged their companies to form the Trade Advertising & Publishing Co. The new company expanded into automotive catalogs, booklets, circulars, and posters.

The company selected the name Chilton from the Mayflowers passenger list. The earliest known use of the corporate name Chilton Company was in 1904. It appears on a corporate seal that reads "Chilton Company of Pennsylvania, incorporated March 31, 1904." In 1907, the three partners purchased a printing company that they renamed the Chilton Printing Company, only publicly adopting the name Chilton Company in 1910.

In March 1911, Chilton published the first issue of Commercial Car Journal. In February 1912, they renamed the original Cycle & Automobile Trade Journal to Automobile Trade Journal, and eventually merged it into Motor Age magazine.

In 1923, the partners sold Chilton to United Publishers Corp of New York for $1,635,000, and Artman and Buzby retired. In the same year, Chilton opened a new printing plant at 56th and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia. This location became the Chilton Company corporate headquarters in the late 1940s.

Shortly after the purchase, United Publishers merged their Class Journal subsidiary and Chilton into what became known as the Chilton Class Journal Co, with C. A. Musselman as its president. This merger brought several future flagship magazines (such as Iron Age, Motor Age, Dry Goods Economist, Jewelers Circular, Hardware Age, and Automotive Industries) into the Chilton stable of magazines.

In 1934, the company underwent a complete reorganization. J. Howard Pew provided an infusion of cash that saved the company from bankruptcy, in exchange for a majority of the stock. All subsidiaries merged into one company and incorporated in the state of Delaware as Chilton Company. While the cash infusion from J. Howard Pew saved the company, it became the single biggest inhibitor to its growth, as Pew did not permit Chilton to seek outside funding for acquisitions. As a result, Chilton Company's growth over the next thirty years lagged behind competitors like McGraw Hill and Penton.

George Buzby's son G. C. (Carroll) Buzby became president of Chilton in the early 1950s and remained the Chief Executive Officer until he retired in the late 1960s. George C. Buzby died of cancer in 1970.

In 1979, the American Broadcasting Company purchased the Chilton Company and made it an operating unit of ABC Publishing. In 1985, Capital Cities purchased ABC, and in 1996 the Walt Disney Company purchased Capital Cities/ABC. Over-extended financially by its acquisition of Capital Cities ABC, Disney had to sell assets to reduce its debt—and Chilton, despite its status and recognition as an excellent business to business magazine publisher, was not considered a core business. Disney therefore decided to split up and sell the Chilton Company profit centers to multiple buyers:

  • Reed Elsevier purchased the Chilton building and the magazine division for $444 million in 1997.
  • The Hearst Corporation purchased the Chilton professional automotive assets. In December 1999, a court injunction, effective for three years, divided those assets and rights between Hearst and Nichols Publishing.
  • Nichols Publishing purchased the Chilton consumer automotive group assets and brand.


  • In 2001, Nichols sold the do-it-yourself automotive print manuals to Haynes Publishing Group (publishers of Haynes Manuals), while retaining licensing rights to the Chilton do-it-yourself brand for print products for 10 years.

    In 2003, Nichols sold the remaining automotive assets to Thomson Learning. In 2007 Thomson Learning became Cengage Learning. In 2011, Cengage Learning became owner of the Chilton brand for do-it-yourself print manuals as well. Cengage Learning continues to publish or license the professional and consumer automotive products and assets.

    Reference Desk

    The Crittenden Automotive Library's "Reference Desk" is a collection of materials that cannot be shared due to copyright restrictions. Information from these resources, however, can be shared. Go to the Reference Desk page for more information.

    TypeTitle
    1974 BookAuto Repair Manual 1975: American Cars from 1968 to 1975, edited by Byron P. Collins, Chilton Automotive Books
    1975 BookPower Accessories Manual: American Cars from 1968 to 1975, edited by Paul A. Murphy, Chilton Automotive Books
    1977 BookMotor/Age Professional Automotive Service Manual; Chilton Automotive Books
    1977 BookAuto Repair Manual 1971-1978: For Earlier Model American Cars (Limited Edition); Chilton Automotive Books
    1988 BookChevy Cavalier, Buick Skyhawk, Cadillac Cimarron, Pontiac 2000, Olds Firenza 1982-1987: All U.S. and Canadian front wheel drive models; Chilton Book Company
    1999 BookFord Taurus/Sable 1996-99 Repair Manual: Covers all U.S. and Canadian models of Ford Taurus, SHO and Mercury Sable by Eric Michael Mihalyi, Chilton Automotive Books
    1999 BookFord Taurus/Sable 1996-99 Repair Manual: Covers all U.S. and Canadian models of Ford Taurus, SHO and Mercury Sable by Eric Michael Mihalyi, Chilton Automotive Books
    1996 BookCavalier/Sunbird/Skyhawk/Firenza 1982-94 Repair Manual: Covers all U.S. and Canadian models of Buick Skyhawk, Cadillac Cimarron, Chevrolet Cavalier, Oldsmobile Firenza and Pontiac 2000/Sunbird by Matthew E. Frederick, Chilton Automotive Books


    Book List

    The following is a list of manuals by number.

    Stock #TitleYear
    5999Auto Repair Manual 1975: American Cars from 1968 to 1975, edited by Byron P. Collins1974
    6348Power Accessories Manual: American Cars from 1968 to 1975, edited by Paul A. Murphy1975
    6502Motor/Age Professional Automotive Service Manual1977
    6938Auto Repair Manual 1971-1978: For Earler Model American Cars, Limited Edition1977
    7059Chevy Cavalier, Buick Skyhawk, Cadillac Cimarron, Pontiac 2000, Olds Firenza 1982-1987: All U.S. and Canadian front wheel drive models1988
    26702Ford Taurus/Sable 1996-99 Repair Manual: Covers all U.S. and Canadian models of Ford Taurus, SHO and Mercury Sable by Eric Michael Mihalyi1999
    28320Cavalier/Sunbird/Skyhawk/Firenza 1982-94 Repair Manual: Covers all U.S. and Canadian models of Buick Skyhawk, Cadillac Cimarron, Chevrolet Cavalier, Oldsmobile Firenza and Pontiac 2000/Sunbird by Matthew E. Frederick1996




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