Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the flowers, stems, leaves and seeds; the alternate definition of the term vegetable is applied somewhat arbitrarily by culinary and cultural tradition. It may exclude foods derived from some plants that are fruits and cereal grains, but include fruits from others such as tomatoes and courgettes and seeds such as pulses. Vegetables were collected from the wild by hunter-gatherers and entered cultivation in several parts of the world during the period 10,000 BC to 7,000 BC, when a new agricultural way of life developed. At first, plants which grew locally would have been cultivated, but as time went on, trade brought exotic crops from elsewhere to add to domestic types. Nowadays, most vegetables are grown all over the world as climate permits, crops may be cultivated in protected environments in less suitable locations.
China is the largest producer of vegetables and global trade in agricultural products allows consumers to purchase vegetables grown in faraway countries. The scale of production varies from subsistence farmers supplying the needs of their family for food, to agribusinesses with vast acreages of single-product crops. Depending on the type of vegetable concerned, harvesting the crop is followed by grading, storing and marketing. Vegetables can be eaten either raw or cooked and play an important role in human nutrition, being low in fat and carbohydrates, but high in vitamins and dietary fiber. Many nutritionists encourage people to consume plenty of fruit and vegetables, five or more portions a day being recommended; the word vegetable was first recorded in English in the early 15th century. It comes from Old French, was applied to all plants, it derives from Medieval Latin vegetabilis "growing, flourishing", a semantic change from a Late Latin meaning "to be enlivening, quickening". The meaning of "vegetable" as a "plant grown for food" was not established until the 18th century.
In 1767, the word was used to mean a "plant cultivated for food, an edible herb or root". The year 1955 saw the first use of the shortened, slang term "veggie"; as an adjective, the word vegetable is used in scientific and technical contexts with a different and much broader meaning, namely of "related to plants" in general, edible or not—as in vegetable matter, vegetable kingdom, vegetable origin, etc. The exact definition of "vegetable" may vary because of the many parts of a plant consumed as food worldwide—roots, leaves, flowers and seeds; the broadest definition is the word's use adjectivally to mean "matter of plant origin". More a vegetable may be defined as "any plant, part of, used for food", a secondary meaning being "the edible part of such a plant". A more precise definition is "any plant part consumed for food, not a fruit or seed, but including mature fruits that are eaten as part of a main meal". Falling outside these definitions are edible fungi and edible seaweed which, although not parts of plants, are treated as vegetables.
In the latter-mentioned definition of "vegetable", used in everyday language, the words "fruit" and "vegetable" are mutually exclusive. "Fruit" has a precise botanical meaning, being a part that developed from the ovary of a flowering plant. This is different from the word's culinary meaning. While peaches and oranges are "fruit" in both senses, many items called "vegetables", such as eggplants, bell peppers, tomatoes, are botanically fruits; the question of whether the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable found its way into the United States Supreme Court in 1893. The court ruled unanimously in Nix v. Hedden that a tomato is identified as, thus taxed as, a vegetable, for the purposes of the Tariff of 1883 on imported produce; the court did acknowledge, that, botanically speaking, a tomato is a fruit. Before the advent of agriculture, humans were hunter-gatherers, they foraged for edible fruit, stems, leaves and tubers, scavenged for dead animals and hunted living ones for food. Forest gardening in a tropical jungle clearing is thought to be the first example of agriculture.
Plant breeding through the selection of strains with desirable traits such as large fruit and vigorous growth soon followed. While the first evidence for the domestication of grasses such as wheat and barley has been found in the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East, it is that various peoples around the world started growing crops in the period 10,000 BC to 7,000 BC. Subsistence agriculture continues to this day, with many rural farmers in Africa, South America, elsewhere using their plots of land to produce enough food for their families, while any surplus produce is used for exchange for other goods. Throughout recorded history, the rich have been able to afford a varied diet including meat and fruit, but for poor people, meat was a luxury and the food they ate was dull comprising some staple product made from rice, barley, millet or maize; the addition of vegetable matter provided some variety to the diet. The staple diet of the Aztecs in Central America was maize and they cultivated tomatoes, beans, pumpkins, squashes and amaranth seeds to supplement their tortillas and porridge.
In Peru, the Incas subsisted on maize in the lowla
Petunia is genus of 20 species of flowering plants of South American origin. The popular flower of the same name derived its epithet from the French, which took the word petun, meaning "tobacco," from a Tupi–Guarani language. An annual, most of the varieties seen in gardens are hybrids. Petunia is a genus in the family Solanaceae, subfamily Petunioideae. Well known members of Solanaceae in other subfamilies include tobacco, the cape gooseberry, potato, deadly nightshade and chili pepper; some botanists place the plants of the genus Calibrachoa in the genus Petunia, but this is not accepted by others. Petchoa is a hybrid genus derived from crossing Petunia. Species include: Petunias are insect pollinated, with the exception of P. exserta, a rare, red-flowered, hummingbird-pollinated species. Most petunias are interfertile with other petunia species; the tubular flowers are favoured including the Hummingbird hawk moth. The flowers are eaten by the larvae of the corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea and the cabbage looper, Trichoplusia ni.
Petunias can tolerate harsh conditions and hot climates. They need at least five hours of sunlight every day and flourish in moist soil and conditions of low atmospheric humidity, they are best grown from seed. Watering once a week should be sufficient in most regions. Hanging baskets and other containers need more frequent watering. Maximum growth occurs in late spring. Applying fertilizer monthly or weekly, depending on the variety, will help the plant grow quickly. Petunias can be cultivated in hanging baskets. In horticulture many terms are used to denote different types of cultivated petunias; these include Grandiflora, Wave, Supertunia and Surfinia. Many species other than Petunia × atkinsiana are gaining popularity in the home garden. A wide range of flower colours and plant architectures are available in both Petunia × atkinsiana and other species, listed below: The Maya and Inca believed that the scent of petunias had the power to ward off underworld monsters and spirits, their flower-buds were bunched together for magical drinks.
According to New Age folklore, Petunias will only thrive where there is "positive energy" and will not grow in places where there is "negativity". When given as a gift, Petunias have two mutually exclusive meanings, symbolising on the one hand being comfortable with someone, on the other anger and resentment
Bonsai is the Japanese pronunciation of the Sino-Japanese word "盆栽". It is an Asian art form using cultivation techniques to produce small trees in containers that mimic the shape and scale of full size trees. Similar practices exist in East Asian cultures, including the Chinese tradition of penzai from which the Japanese version Bonsai originated, the derivative miniature living landscapes of Vietnamese Hòn Non Bộ; the Japanese tradition dates back over a thousand years. The Japanese loanword "bonsai" has become an umbrella term in English, attached to many forms of potted or other plants, on occasion to other living and non-living things. According to Stephen Orr in The New York Times, "the term should be reserved for plants that are grown in shallow containers following the precise tenets of bonsai pruning and training, resulting in an artful miniature replica of a full-grown tree in nature." In the most restrictive sense, "bonsai" refers to miniaturized, container-grown trees adhering to Japanese tradition and principles.
The purposes of bonsai are contemplation for the viewer, the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity for the grower. By contrast with other plant cultivation practices, bonsai is not intended for production of food or for medicine. Instead, bonsai practice focuses on long-term cultivation and shaping of one or more small trees growing in a container. A bonsai is created beginning with a specimen of source material; this may be seedling, or small tree of a species suitable for bonsai development. Bonsai can be created from nearly any perennial woody-stemmed tree or shrub species that produces true branches and can be cultivated to remain small through pot confinement with crown and root pruning; some species are popular as bonsai material because they have characteristics, such as small leaves or needles, that make them appropriate for the compact visual scope of bonsai. The source specimen is shaped to be small and to meet the aesthetic standards of bonsai; when the candidate bonsai nears its planned final size it is planted in a display pot one designed for bonsai display in one of a few accepted shapes and proportions.
From that point forward, its growth is restricted by the pot environment. Throughout the year, the bonsai is shaped to limit growth, redistribute foliar vigor to areas requiring further development, meet the artist's detailed design; the practice of bonsai is sometimes confused with dwarfing, but dwarfing refers to research, discovery, or creation of plants that are permanent, genetic miniatures of existing species. Plant dwarfing uses selective breeding or genetic engineering to create dwarf cultivars. Bonsai does not require genetically dwarfed trees, but rather depends on growing small trees from regular stock and seeds. Bonsai uses cultivation techniques like pruning, root reduction, potting and grafting to produce small trees that mimic the shape and style of mature, full-size trees; the Japanese art of bonsai originated from the Chinese practice of penjing. From the 6th century onward, Imperial embassy personnel and Buddhist students from Japan visited and returned from mainland China, they brought back many Chinese goods, including container plantings.
Over time, these container plantings began to appear in representative art. In the medieval period, recognizable bonsai were portrayed in handscroll paintings like the Ippen shonin eden; the 1195 scroll Saigyo Monogatari Emaki was the earliest known to depict dwarfed potted trees in Japan. Wooden tray and dish-like pots with dwarf landscapes on modern-looking wooden shelves appear in the 1309 Kasuga-gongen-genki scroll. In 1351, dwarf trees displayed on short poles were portrayed in the Boki Ekotoba scroll. Several other scrolls and paintings included depictions of these kinds of trees. A close relationship between Japan's Zen Buddhism and the potted trees began to shape bonsai reputation and esthetics. In this period, Chinese Chan Buddhist monks taught at Japan's monasteries. One of the monks' activities was to introduce political leaders to various arts of miniature landscapes as admirable accomplishments for men of taste and learning. Potted landscape arrangements up to this period included miniature figurines after the Chinese fashion.
Japanese artists adopted a simpler style for bonsai, increasing focus on the tree by removing miniatures and other decorations, using smaller, plainer pots. Around the 14th century, the term for dwarf potted trees was "the bowl's tree"; this indicated use of a deep pot, rather than the shallow pot denoted by the eventual term bonsai. Hachi no Ki is the title of a Noh play by Zeami Motokiyo, based on a story in c. 1383 about an impoverished samurai who burns his last three potted trees as firewood to warm a traveling monk. The monk is a disguised official who rewards the samurai for his actions. In centuries, woodblock prints by several artists depicted this popular drama. There was a fabric design of the same name. Through these and other popular media, bonsai became known to a broad Japanese population. Bonsai cultivation reached a high level of expertise in this period. Bonsai dating to the 17th century have survived to the present. One of the oldest-known living bonsai trees, considered one of the National Treasures of Japan, can be seen in the Tokyo Imperial Palace collection.
A five-needle pine known as Sandai-Shogun-No Matsu is documented as having been cared for by Tokugawa Iemitsu. The tree is thought to be at least 500 years old and was trained as a bonsai by, at latest, the year 1610. By the end of
A cactus is a member of the plant family Cactaceae, a family comprising about 127 genera with some 1750 known species of the order Caryophyllales. The word "cactus" derives, through Latin, from the Ancient Greek κάκτος, kaktos, a name used by Theophrastus for a spiny plant whose identity is not certain. Cacti occur in a wide range of sizes. Most cacti live in habitats subject to at least some drought. Many live in dry environments being found in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth. Cacti show many adaptations to conserve water. All cacti are succulents, meaning they have thickened, fleshy parts adapted to store water. Unlike many other succulents, the stem is the only part of most cacti where this vital process takes place. Most species of cacti have lost true leaves, retaining only spines, which are modified leaves; as well as defending against herbivores, spines help prevent water loss by reducing air flow close to the cactus and providing some shade. In the absence of leaves, enlarged stems carry out photosynthesis.
Cacti are native to the Americas, ranging from Patagonia in the south to parts of western Canada in the north—except for Rhipsalis baccifera, which grows in Africa and Sri Lanka. Cactus spines are produced from specialized structures called areoles, a kind of reduced branch. Areoles are an identifying feature of cacti; as well as spines, areoles give rise to flowers, which are tubular and multipetaled. Many cacti have short growing seasons and long dormancies, are able to react to any rainfall, helped by an extensive but shallow root system that absorbs any water reaching the ground surface. Cactus stems are ribbed or fluted, which allows them to expand and contract for quick water absorption after rain, followed by long drought periods. Like other succulent plants, most cacti employ a special mechanism called "crassulacean acid metabolism" as part of photosynthesis. Transpiration, during which carbon dioxide enters the plant and water escapes, does not take place during the day at the same time as photosynthesis, but instead occurs at night.
The plant stores the carbon dioxide it takes in as malic acid, retaining it until daylight returns, only using it in photosynthesis. Because transpiration takes place during the cooler, more humid night hours, water loss is reduced. Many smaller cacti have globe-shaped stems, combining the highest possible volume for water storage, with the lowest possible surface area for water loss from transpiration; the tallest free-standing cactus is Pachycereus pringlei, with a maximum recorded height of 19.2 m, the smallest is Blossfeldia liliputiana, only about 1 cm in diameter at maturity. A grown saguaro is said to be able to absorb as much as 200 U. S. gallons of water during a rainstorm. A few species differ in appearance from most of the family. At least superficially, plants of the genus Pereskia resemble other trees and shrubs growing around them, they have persistent leaves, when older, bark-covered stems. Their areoles identify them as cacti, in spite of their appearance, too, have many adaptations for water conservation.
Pereskia is considered close to the ancestral species from. In tropical regions, other cacti grow as forest epiphytes, their stems are flattened leaf-like in appearance, with fewer or no spines, such as the well-known Christmas cactus or Thanksgiving cactus. Cacti have a variety of uses: many species are used as ornamental plants, others are grown for fodder or forage, others for food. Cochineal is the product of an insect. Many succulent plants in both the Old and New World – such as some Euphorbiaceae – bear a striking resemblance to cacti, may incorrectly be called "cactus" in common usage; the 1,500 to 1,800 species of cacti fall into one of two groups of "core cacti": opuntias and "cactoids". Most members of these two groups are recognizable as cacti, they have fleshy succulent stems. They have small, or transient leaves, they have flowers with ovaries that lie below the sepals and petals deeply sunken into a fleshy receptacle. All cacti have areoles—highly specialized short shoots with short internodes that produce spines, normal shoots, flowers.
The remaining cacti fall into only two genera and Maihuenia, are rather different, which means any description of cacti as a whole must make exceptions for them. Pereskia species superficially resemble other tropical forest trees; when mature, they have woody stems that may be covered with bark and long-lasting leaves that provide the main means of photosynthesis. Their flowers may have superior ovaries, areoles that produce further leaves; the two species of Maihuenia have globe-shaped bodies with prominent leaves at the top. Cacti show a wide variety of growth habits, which are difficult to divide into clear, simple categories. Arborescent cactiThey can be tree-like, meaning they have a single more-or-less woody trunk topped by several to many branches. In the genus Pereskia, the branches are covered with leaves, so the species of this genus may not be recognized as cacti. In most other cacti, the branches are more cactus-like, bare of leaves and bark, cov
A stem is one of two main structural axes of a vascular plant, the other being the root. The stem is divided into nodes and internodes: The nodes hold one or more leaves, as well as buds which can grow into branches. Adventitious roots may be produced from the nodes; the internodes distance one node from another. The term "shoots" is confused with "stems". In most plants stems are located above the soil surface but some plants have underground stems. Stems have four main functions which are: Support for and the elevation of leaves and fruits; the stems keep the leaves in the light and provide a place for the plant to keep its flowers and fruits. Transport of fluids between the roots and the shoots in the xylem and phloem Storage of nutrients Production of new living tissue; the normal lifespan of plant cells is one to three years. Stems have cells called meristems. Stems are specialized for storage, asexual reproduction, protection or photosynthesis, including the following: Acaulescent – used to describe stems in plants that appear to be stemless.
These stems are just short, the leaves appearing to rise directly out of the ground, e.g. some Viola species. Arborescent – tree like with woody stems with a single trunk. Axillary bud – a bud which grows at the point of attachment of an older leaf with the stem, it gives rise to a shoot. Branched – aerial stems are described as being branched or unbranched Bud – an embryonic shoot with immature stem tip. Bulb – a short vertical underground stem with fleshy storage leaves attached, e.g. onion, tulip. Bulbs function in reproduction by splitting to form new bulbs or producing small new bulbs termed bulblets. Bulbs are a combination of stem and leaves so may better be considered as leaves because the leaves make up the greater part. Caespitose – when stems grow in a tangled mass or clump or in low growing mats. Cladode – a flattened stem that appears more-or-less leaf like and is specialized for photosynthesis, e.g. cactus pads. Climbing -- stems that wrap around other plants or structures. Corm – a short enlarged underground, storage stem, e.g. taro, gladiolus.
Decumbent -- stems that lie flat on the turn upwards at the ends. Fruticose -- stems. Herbaceous – non woody, they die at the end of the growing season. Internode – an interval between two successive nodes, it possesses the ability to elongate, either from its base or from its extremity depending on the species. Node – a point of attachment of a leaf or a twig on the stem in seed plants. A node is a small growth zone. Pedicel – stems that serve as the stalk of an individual flower in an inflorescence or infrutescence. Peduncle – a stem that supports an inflorescence Prickle – a sharpened extension of the stem's outer layers, e.g. roses. Pseudostem – a false stem made of the rolled bases of leaves, which may be 2 or 3 m tall as in banana Rhizome – a horizontal underground stem that functions in reproduction but in storage, e.g. most ferns, iris Runner – a type of stolon, horizontally growing on top of the ground and rooting at the nodes, aids in reproduction. E.g. garden strawberry, Chlorophytum comosum.
Scape – a stem that holds flowers that comes out of the ground and has no normal leaves. Hosta, Iris, Garlic. Stolon – a horizontal stem that produces rooted plantlets at its nodes and ends, forming near the surface of the ground. Thorn – a modified stem with a sharpened point. Tuber – a swollen, underground storage stem adapted for storage and reproduction, e.g. potato. Woody – hard textured stems with secondary xylem. Stem consist of three tissues, dermal tissue, ground tissue and vascular tissue; the dermal tissue covers the outer surface of the stem and functions to waterproof and control gas exchange. The ground tissue consists of parenchyma cells and fills in around the vascular tissue, it sometimes functions in photosynthesis. Vascular tissue provides structural support. Most or all ground tissue may be lost in woody stems; the dermal tissue of aquatic plants stems. The arrangement of the vascular tissues varies among plant species. Dicot stems with primary growth have pith in the center, with vascular bundles forming a distinct ring visible when the stem is viewed in cross section.
The outside of the stem is covered with an epidermis, covered by a waterproof cuticle. The epidermis may contain stomata for gas exchange and multicellular stem hairs called trichomes. A cortex consisting of hypodermis and endodermis is present above the pericycle and vascular bundles. Woody dicots and many nonwoody dicots have secondary growth originating from their lateral or secondary meristems: the vascular cambium and the cork cambium or phellogen; the vascular cambium forms between the xylem and phloem in the vascular bundles and connects to form a continuous cylinder. The vascular cambium cells divide to produce secondary xylem to the inside and secondary phloem to the outside; as the stem increases in diameter due to production of secondary xylem and secondary phloem, the cortex and epidermis are destroyed. Before the cortex is destroyed, a cork cambium develops there; the cork cambium divides to produce waterproof cork cells externally and sometimes phelloderm cells internally. Those three tissues form the periderm.
Areas of loosely pack
Forestry is the science and craft of creating, using and repairing forests and associated resources for human and environmental benefits. Forestry is practiced in natural stands; the science of forestry has elements that belong to the biological, social and managerial sciences. Modern forestry embraces a broad range of concerns, in what is known as multiple-use management, including the provision of timber, fuel wood, wildlife habitat, natural water quality management, recreation and community protection, aesthetically appealing landscapes, biodiversity management, watershed management, erosion control, preserving forests as "sinks" for atmospheric carbon dioxide. A practitioner of forestry is known as a forester. Other common terms are: a silviculturalist. Silviculture is narrower than forestry, being concerned only with forest plants, but is used synonymously with forestry. Forest ecosystems have come to be seen as the most important component of the biosphere, forestry has emerged as a vital applied science and technology.
Forestry is an important economic segment in various industrial countries. For example, in Germany, forests cover nearly a third of the land area, wood is the most important renewable resource, forestry supports more than a million jobs and about €181 billion of value to the German economy each year; the preindustrial age has been dubbed by Werner Sombart and others as the'wooden age', as timber and firewood were the basic resources for energy and housing. The development of modern forestry is connected with the rise of capitalism, economy as a science and varying notions of land use and property. Roman Latifundiae, large agricultural estates, were quite successful in maintaining the large supply of wood, necessary for the Roman Empire. Large deforestations came with after the decline of the Romans; however in the 5th century, monks in the Byzantine Romagna on the Adriatic coast, were able to establish stone pine plantations to provide fuelwood and food. This was the beginning of the massive forest mentioned by Dante Alighieri in his 1308 poem Divine Comedy.
Similar sustainable formal forestry practices were developed by the Visigoths in the 7th century when, faced with the ever-increasing shortage of wood, they instituted a code concerned with the preservation of oak and pine forests. The use and management of many forest resources has a long history in China as well, dating back to the Han dynasty and taking place under the landowning gentry. A similar approach was used in Japan, it was later written about by the Ming dynasty Chinese scholar Xu Guangqi. In Europe, land usage rights in medieval and early modern times allowed different users to access forests and pastures. Plant litter and resin extraction were important, as pitch was essential for the caulking of ships and hunting rights and building, timber gathering in wood pastures, for grazing animals in forests; the notion of "commons" refers to the underlying traditional legal term of common land. The idea of enclosed private property came about during modern times. However, most hunting rights were retained by members of the nobility which preserved the right of the nobility to access and use common land for recreation, like fox hunting.
Systematic management of forests for a sustainable yield of timber began in Portugal in the 13th century when Afonso III of Portugal planted the Pinhal do Rei near Leiria to prevent coastal erosion and soil degradation, as a sustainable source for timber used in naval construction. His successor Dom Dinis continued the forest exists still today. Forest management flourished in the German states in the 14th century, e.g. in Nuremberg, in 16th-century Japan. A forest was divided into specific sections and mapped; as timber rafting allowed for connecting large continental forests, as in south western Germany, via Main, Neckar and Rhine with the coastal cities and states, early modern forestry and remote trading were connected. Large firs in the black forest were called "Holländer ``. Large timber rafts on the Rhine were 200 to 400m in length, 40m in width and consisted of several thousand logs; the crew consisted of 400 to 500 men, including shelter, bakeries and livestock stables. Timber rafting infrastructure allowed for large interconnected networks all over continental Europe and is still of importance in Finland.
Starting with the sixteenth century, enhanced world maritime trade, a boom in housing construction in Europe and the success and further Berggeschrey of the mining industry increased timber consumption sharply. The notion of'Nachhaltigkeit', sustainability in forestry, is connected to the work of Hans Carl von Carlowitz, a mining administrator in Saxony, his book Sylvicultura oeconomica, oder haußwirthliche Nachricht und Naturmäßige Anweisung zur wilden Baum-Zucht was the first comprehensive treatise about sustainable yield forestry. In the UK, and, to an extent, in continental Europe, the enclosure movement and the clearances favored enclosed private property; the Agrarian reformers, early economic writers and scientists tried to get rid of the traditional commons. At the time, an alleged tragedy of the commons together with fears of a Holznot, an imminent wood shortage played a watershed role in the controversies about cooperative land use patterns; the practice of establishing tree plantations in the British Isles was promoted by John Evelyn, though it had acquired some populari
Encyclopedia Americana is one of the largest general encyclopedias in the English language. Following the acquisition of Grolier in 2000, the encyclopedia has been produced by Scholastic; the encyclopedia has more than 45,000 articles, most of them more than 500 words and many running to considerable length. The work's coverage of American and Canadian geography and history has been a traditional strength. Written by 6,500 contributors, the Encyclopedia Americana includes over 9,000 bibliographies, 150,000 cross-references, 1,000+ tables, 1,200 maps, 4,500 black-and-white line art and color images, it has 680 factboxes. Most articles are signed by their contributors. Long available as a 30-volume print set, the Encyclopedia Americana is now marketed as an online encyclopedia requiring a subscription. In March 2008, Scholastic said that print sales remained good but that the company was still deciding on the future of the print edition; the company did not produce an edition in 2007, a change from its previous approach of releasing a revised print edition each year.
The most recent print edition of the Encyclopedia Americana was published in 2006. The online version of the Encyclopedia Americana, first introduced in 1997, continues to be updated and sold; this work, like the print set from which it is derived, is designed for high school and first-year college students along with public library users. It is available to libraries as one of the options in the Grolier Online reference service, which includes the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, intended for middle and high school students, The New Book of Knowledge, an encyclopedia for elementary and middle school students. Grolier Online is not available to individual subscribers. There have been three separate works using the title Encyclopedia Americana; the first began publishing in the 1820s by the German exile Francis Lieber. The 13 volumes of the first edition were completed in 1833, other editions and printings followed in 1835, 1836, 1847-1848, 1849 and 1858. Lieber's work was based upon and was in no small part a translation of the 7th edition of the well established Konversations-Lexikon of Brockhaus.
Some material from this set was carried over into the modern version, as well as the Brockhaus short article method. A separate Encyclopedia Americana was published by J. M. Stoddart between 1883 and 1889, as a supplement to American reprintings of the 9th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, it was four quarto volumes meant to "extend and complete the articles in Britannica". Stoddart's work, however, is not connected to the earlier work by Lieber. In 1902 a new version in 16 volumes was published under the title Encyclopedia Americana, under the editorial supervision of Scientific American magazine; the magazine's editor, Frederick Converse Beach, was editor-in-chief, was said to be assisted by hundreds of eminent scholars and authorities who served as consulting editors or authors. The first publisher was R. S. Peale & Co; the relationship with Scientific American was terminated in 1911. From 1907 to 1912, the work was published as The Americana. A major new edition appeared with George Edwin Rines as editor-in-chief.
An Annual or Yearbook was published each year beginning in 1923 and continuing until 2000. The encyclopedia was purchased by Grolier in 1945. By the 1960s, sales of the Americana and its sister publications under Grolier—The Book of Knowledge, the Book of Popular Science, Lands and Peoples—were strong enough to support the company's occupancy of a large building in Midtown Manhattan, at 575 Lexington Avenue. Sales during this period were accomplished through mail-order and door-to-door operations. Telemarketing and third-party distribution through their Lexicon division added to sales volumes in the 1970s. By the late 1970s, Grolier had moved its operations to Connecticut. In 1988 Grolier was purchased by the French media company Hachette, which owned a well-known French-language encyclopedia, the Hachette Encyclopedia. Hachette was absorbed by the French conglomerate the Lagardère Group. A CD-ROM version of the encyclopedia was published in 1995. Although the text and images were stored on separate disks, it was in keeping with standards current at the time.
More the work had been digitized, allowing for release of an online version in 1997. Over the next few years the product was augmented with additional features, supplementary references, Internet links, current events journal. A redesigned interface and reengineered product, featuring enhanced search capabilities and a first-ever ADA-compliant, text-only version for users with disabilities, was presented in 2002; the acquisition of Grolier by Scholastic for US$400 million, took place in 2000. The new owners projected a 30% increase in operating income, although Grolier had experienced earnings of 7% to 8% on income. Staff reductions as a means of controlling costs followed soon thereafter while an effort was made to augment the sales force. Cuts occurred every year between 2000 and 2007, leaving a much-depleted work force to carry out the duties of maintaining a large encyclopedia database. Today, Encyclopedia Americana lives on as an integral database within the Grolier Online product. Frederick Converse Beach, 1902–1917.
Engineer and editor of Scientific American magazine. George Edwin Rines, 1917–1920. Author and editor. A. H. McDannald, 1920–1948. Reporter and author