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History

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An Enterprising History is Our Legacy of Success

At Capstone, our passion for children’s learning defines the momentum behind each book and digital product we create. We deliver hardworking content in formats that kids love. This enterprising quality springs from an entrepreneurial tradition that’s nearly 125 years old.

Discover our diversified background and the untiring drive to “uncover what’s next,” which continues to fire our growth today.

The Stone Age

    • 1883
    • Irish immigrant Thomas R. Coughlan purchases a limestone quarry near Mankato, MN
     
    • 1886
    • The T.R. Coughlan Company is incorporated
     
    • 1922
    • Thomas M. Coughlan buys the company and begins the second generation of ownership
     
    • 1936-50
    • Thomas P. Coughlan and brothers Robert and Dan mark the third generation of Coughlan leadership
     

Finance & Manufacturing

    • 1960s
    • The stone business softens and the company expands into financial services, purchasing several banks in southern Minnesota
     
    • 1978
    • The Coughlans exit the banking industry
     
    • 1983
    • Robert J. and James P. Coughlan (Thomas P.’s two youngest sons) become the fourth generation of ownership
     
    • 1984
    • Coughlan Stone is renamed Mankato Kasota Stone
     
    • 1989
    • The company purchases Mankato Screw Products, which provides precision-machined parts to original equipment manufacturers
     

Publishing

    • 1990
    • Capstone Press is acquired and rapidly expands, setting the pace for the Coughlan entry into the publishing industry
     
    • 1991
    • Capstone Press publishes its first books, 48 titles
     
    • 1998
    • The Pebble brand® becomes the first nonfiction research series for emergent readers (grades preK-2) in the market
     
    • 1999
    • Compass Point Books, Capstone’s second imprint, is established
     
    • 2001
    • Picture Window Books, the first solely illustrated nonfiction and fiction series publisher, is launched
     
    • 2002
    • Red Brick Learning is launched, partnering with educators to help all students, from struggling to fluent readers, achieve reading success in the classroom
     

The Digital Age

    • 2003
    • FactHound.com®, the first publisher-provided, internet-based resource provider for elementary students is launched
     
    • 2004
    • The Pebble Plus® brand is launched to provide larger nonfiction books for beginning readers, grades preK-2
     
    • 2005
    • Stone Arch Books, the first exclusively safe graphic novel publisher, and the Graphic Library brand, first nonfiction graphic novels series, are established
     
    • 2007
    • Capstone Publishers (now Capstone) is established to unify the publishing companies with shared services

      Capstone Interactive Library™ with digital books online is launched

     
    • 2008
    • Heinemann Global Library is acquired, expanding Capstone’s market globally

      Raintree is established in the U.K.

      CollectionWiz™, the first online collection analysis and management tool created by a publisher, is launched

     
    • 2009
    • Capstone entered licensing agreement with DC Comics to publish DC SUPER HEROES, a new chapter book series based around DC Comics’ iconic characters

      PebbleGo™ debuted as the first interactive animal database designed for emergent readers and researchers, grades K-2

      Capstone Digital division is launched with interactive and online media formats to excite and engage learners

      Capstone entered licensing agreement with Sports Illustrated KIDS to publish a new line of high-interest nonfiction and fiction sports stories

      Capstone Rewards, a free customer rewards program, is established

      Free educational website for kids, CapstoneKids.com, is re-launched

     
    • 2010
    • Educational software company Portage Interactive LLC is acquired, expanding Capstone Digital’s digital products and solutions

      CapstonePub.com is re-launched to integrate all imprint’s titles and formats into one e-commerce site

      Capstone Digital released first interactive book for Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iTouch platforms and new game for Nintendo DSi

      PebbleGo™ Earth and Space unveiled as the newest addition to the PebbleGo database collection

      Capstone entered licensing agreement with DC Comics to publish DC SUPER-PETS, a new chapter book series about the pets of DC Comics’ iconic characters

      Books for Africa received 300,000 books donation, valued at more than $5 million – the largest single book donation in Capstone’s history

     
    • 2011
    • Capstone celebrated 20th anniversary in publishing

      Capstone Digital launched myON®™ reader, the largest online library of interactive ebooks

      Capstone entered licensing agreement with Tony Hawk Inc. to publish new sci-fi, action-adventure series, Tony Hawk's 900 Revoltion, for kids

      Capstone entered licensing agreement with the Smithsonian Institution

      PebbleGo™ Biographies unveiled as the newest addition to the PebbleGo database collection

      Annual nation-wide survey conducted by Renaissance Learning recognized Capstone as the number one brand for struggling readers for the third year in a row

      Coughlan Companies, Inc., established affiliate Jordan Sands LLC, an industrial sand mining and processing operation

     
    • 2012
    • Capstone entered licensing agreement with DC Entertainment to publish reinforced library hard covers and paper-over-board editions of DC Comics

      Capstone Digital launched new mobile capabilities for myON®™ reader

      The Capstone Literacy Center is established to boost the reading skills of struggling readers in the Mankato community

      myON®™ reader topped 1 million students reading

      Capstone Interactive Library™ interactive eBook program expanded to include greater title selection and improved technologies

     
 
 
 
 
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