Springer Science+Business Media today celebrates 50 years of operations in the United States. While the founding of the company dates back to 1842 in Berlin, it was not until the mid-20th century that Springer had an official US branch of operations. The motivations behind the expansion to North America in 1964 were the same as those that fuel Springer’s activities today – scientific progress.
Following the Second World War, it became very clear to the management of Springer-Verlag that to remain competitive in the world of scientific publishing, a home in the United States was absolutely necessary. Where German had once been the primary language of scientific discourse, now English dominated. And with vast numbers of scientists migrating to the United States, Springer needed a home in the Western Hemisphere.
On July 29, 1964, the official charter for Springer-Verlag New York was signed by the Secretary of State in the US state of Delaware, officially marking the creation of the publishing company’s first footprint in the new world. Finally, on September 8, 1964, the new venture opened its doors at 175 Fifth Avenue in the “Flatiron Building,” the first skyscraper in New York and an iconic landmark for the city.
Today Springer US – located in New York and Philadelphia – boasts a robust workforce of nearly 400 employees in all areas of the company’s operations from marketing and sales, to editorial and administration. But as much as some things may have changed in the past 50 years, like the transition from print to digital, the core principles for the company have remained the same.
“Springer-Verlag New York was born out of necessity as a company, but also out of an obligation to be located where the science of the day was being done,” said William F. Curtis, Ph.D., President of Springer US. “In much the way that we now look to China, India, Latin America and other growth areas for research, so did Springer’s leadership look to the United States in the mid-20th century. This same pioneering spirit of progress is still at the heart of what every Springer employee strives for every day, and I believe this will still be the case when Springer US celebrates a century of service to the scientific community.”
More information on the history of Springer can be found in its two-volume set, Springer-Verlag: History of a Scientific Publishing House, available free of charge on SpringerLink.