In 1800, Zadok Cramer, a young man in his late twenties, arrived in Pittsburgh and set himself up on Market Street with a bookstore and printing house. 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.
As a tribute to Zadok Cramer, and with the same love he bore for his adopted city, we have brought back the sign of the Franklin Head. Here you will find reprints of Pittsburgh books of exceptional interest, and new books that document and celebrate the city we love. The technology is different, but we hope Mr. Cramer would recognize the spirit of the enterprise.