Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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DITSON, Oliver, publisher, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 20 October 1811. He was educated in the Boston public schools, and at the age of thirteen entered the service of Samuel II. Parker in the book and music business. After ten years he became a partner of his former employer, under the firm name of Parker & Ditson. They continued together in a small way until 1844, when the senior withdrew from the concern, leaving Mr. Ditson to follow his own fortune. In 1856 one of his employees, J. C. Haynes, became interested in the business, and the firm name was permanently changed to Oliver Ditson & Co. ]n 1867 his eldest son in New York City, under the style of C. H. Ditson, established a branch house& Co., and in 1876 another in Philadelphia, J. E. Ditson & Co. The published catalogue of the Ditsons numbers over 80,000 different pieces of sheet music and more than 2,300 music books. Of pianoforte methods they have published the enormous number of 111, mid of books for the organ, about 100. In 1887 the Boston house employed about 100 clerks and bookkeepers. They have twenty printing presses constantly at work. Application, method, economy, and acute business judgment have secured Mr. Ditson's success, and he has absorbed the patronage and the publications of many rival publishers. Mr. Ditson is officially connected with several monetary institutions, and during the past twenty-two years has been president of the Continental bank in his native City.
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