Schuh’s Annotated Bio-Bibliography

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DOBSON, Thomas.

(1751 – 1823)

(Born: probably near Edinburgh, Scotland, 1751; Died: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., 9 March 1823) American publisher, printer & bookseller.

Dobson married in Scotland but emigrated to the United States in the spring of 1784. He opened a bookshop in Philadelphia in 1785 and was soon established as one of the leading dealers of medical, professional and scientific books in the United States. In the post Revolutionary period he was noted for printing America editions of recent British publications. To sell his merchandise, he cultivated close relationships with the local scientific societies and the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where Dobson met many potential customers. Several set backs through the years caused his business to fail and for Dobson to die in obscurity.

Biographical references: American Dictionary of Printing & Bookmaking, 1894.: 146. ANB: 6, 662-3 [by R.D. Arner]. Arner, R.D., "Thomas Dobson's Rolling Mill for Copper: A Note on the Publisher of the Encyclopaedia", Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Jan.-Apr., 1994, 117-36. Drake, Dictionary of American Biography, 1872: p. 274. New England Galaxy and Masonic Magazine: 28 (Mar. 1823), 4 [obiturary].

A Compendious System of Mineralogy & Metallurgy. Extracted from the American Edition of the Encyclopaedia, now publishing by Thomas Dobson ... (Philadelphia, 1794 and other editions).
See under: Compendious System.