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Elkan Harrison Powell

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Title: Elkan Harrison Powell  
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Subject: Encyclopædia Britannica, History of the Encyclopædia Britannica
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Elkan Harrison Powell

Elkan Harrison Powell (21 November 1888 – 8 May 1966) was the president of Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. who introduced the policies of continuous revision and of leveraging the Britannica's fame to market successful spin-off products, such as historical overviews, compilations of good Britannica articles, children's encyclopedias and atlases. These policies are still in practice today.

Powell was a vice president at Sears Roebuck in 1932, when the publisher of the Britannica, Benjamin J. Cox, resigned. Powell quickly analyzed the factors affecting the profitability of the Britannica and hit upon the continuous revision policy in 1933. New Britannica-branded products such as the 12-volume children's encyclopedia, Britannica Junior, appeared only a year later.[1]


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