A lexicographer compiles information to produce dictionaries.
The name Webster is world renown for developing Webster’s Dictionary; however, few know who the original Webster was. Noah Webster was born in West Hartford, Connecticut in 1758 and became a prestigious teacher and lexicographer. While teaching he realized a need for a book that contained the American versions of the English words carried over from England. Webster was 70 when he published the American Dictionary of the English Language that defined 65,000 words. In 1841, the then 82 year old Webster released a revised and expanded version. This is the version that went on to be a foundation for future American dictionaries.
In 1847, a Scottish company, W.G. Blackie and Co., produced an expanded version of Webster’s Dictionary titled The Imperial Dictionary of the English Language. This dictionary was later expanded by Charles Annandale in London in 1882 and then an American version was produced in 1883 by The Century Company of New York. The Century Company went on to produce newer and larger variations of the Imperial Dictionary under the title The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia.
The Century Dictionary was admired for the craftsmanship of its design the quality of the entries, illustrations, typography and heavy durable binding. It has been used as an information source for the makers of later dictionaries, such as the Oxford English Dictionary. The Gateway Museum at Nature’s Art Village features the 1914 edition of The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia in the The Gateway Gazette Exhibit. This edition is a compilation of the 11 previous volumes and was the final edition produced by The Century Company. Visit The Gateway Museum at Nature’s Art Village on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut to see this massive dictionary and many more antique innovations that defined America throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries.
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