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Justus Perthes.

Johann Georg Justus Perthes (September 11, 1749 – May 2, 1816) was a German publisher and founder of the firm that bears his name (Justus Perthes).

He was born in Rudolstadt. In 1785 he founded the Justus Perthes publishing firm 'Justus Perthes Geographische Anstalt Gotha' in Gotha. In this, he was joined in 1814 by his son Wilhelm Perthes (1793–1853), who had been in the establishment of Justus's nephew, Friedrich Christoph Perthes, at Hamburg. On Justus's death, Wilhelm took over the firm and laid the foundation of the geographical branch of the business, for which it is chiefly famous, by publishing the Hand-Atlas from 1817–1823 of Adolf Stieler (1775–1836).

Wilhelm Perthes engaged the collaboration of the most eminent German geographers of the time, including Stieler, Heinrich Berghaus (1797–1884), Christian Gottlieb Reichard (1758–1837), who was associated with Stieler in the compilation of the atlas, Karl Spruner (1803-1892), and Emil von Sydow (1812–1873).

The business passed to his son Bernhardt Wilhelm Perthes (1821–1857), who was associated with August Petermann (under whose direction the well-known periodical Petermanns Mitteilungen was founded) and Bruno Hassenstein (1839–1902); and subsequently (1857) to his son Bernhard Perthes (1858–1919) who was born after his father Bernhardt had died.

Since 1785 the firm first issued the Almanach de Gotha, a statistical, historical and genealogical annual (in German and French) of the various countries of the world (first published by Carl Wilhelm Ettinger, Gotha, in 1763); and in 1866 the elaborate Geographisches Jahrbuch was produced under the editorship of Ernst Behm (1830–1884), on whose death it was continued under that of Professor Hermann Wagner.


External links

  • See an 1872 map by August Petermann, published by Justus Perthes, [Map of Texas, Indian Territory, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas] / bearbeitet v. H. Habenicht. hosted by the Portal to Texas History.
  • The 1875 Stieler Hand-Atlas, and many other maps and atlases, are viewable online at
  • More information about the history and the current situation of the huge archive (map archive, bibliotheque) of 'Justus Perthes Geographische Anstalt Gotha' (including 'VEB Hermann Haack Geographisch-Kartographische Anstalt Gotha', publishing firm in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) from 1955 to 1991, and 'Justus Perthes Geographische Verlagsanstalt Darmstadt', publishing firm in Darmstadt from 1953 to 1994), as well as about the current publishing house 'Ernst Klett Verlag GmbH, Zweigniederlassung Gotha, Gymnasialverlag, Programmbereich Klett-Perthes' available online at (German language)
  • More information about 'Almanach de Gotha' (English) online at


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