KARL BAEDEKER Biography - People in the News and Media


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Name: Karl Baedeker                                                                     
Born: 3 November 1801                                                                   
Died: 4 October 1859                                                                     
Karl Baedeker (3 November 1801 - 4 October 1859) was a German publisher whose           
company Baedeker set the standard for authoritative guidebooks for tourists.             
The son of a book printer, Baedeker was born in Essen, Prussia, and started his         
publishing company in 1827 in Koblenz. Baedeker's company in 1832 bought another         
Koblenz publisher (Friedrich Rahling) which had in 1828 published a handbook for         
travellers by J. A. Klein, under the title Rheinreise von Mainz bis Kaln (travelling     
the Rhine from Mainz to Cologne). This provided the basis for the first of the           
Baedeker travel guides.                                                                 
The red bindings and gilt lettering soon became the familiar hallmark of                 
Baedeker's guides, and the content became famous for its detail and accuracy.           
While the travel guide was not a new form, Baedeker's innovation was to include         
specific details of transportation, accommodations, prices, and so forth.               
Starting in 1844, he augmented this with star ratings for attractions. Baedeker         
was famous for his careful work; when visiting Milan Cathedral in 1847, he was           
observed to drop a pea at every twenty steps of the staircase to the roof, so as         
to be able to report the number of steps accurately.