George Philip, (1800–1882) was a cartographer and map publisher. He had one son, also George (1823–1902), who was admitted to the business in 1848. The eventual company, George Philip & Son Ltd, continued to operate successfully until in 1987 when it was sold to Reed International where it continued to trade as George Philip Ltd. In 1998, following a management buy-out of the Illustrated books division, Philip's became part of the Octopus Publishing Group. Hachette Livre acquired the group in 2001.
George senior was born in Huntly, Aberdeenshire to a staunchly Calvinist family. In 1819 he became assistant to the Liverpool bookseller, William Grapel and in 1834 started his own business in Liverpool producing maps and educational books.
The business expanded rapidly. He used cartographers (such as John Bartholomew the elder, August Petermann, and William Hughes) to produce maps on copper plates. Philip then had these printed and hand-coloured by his women tinters. By the time he produced his county maps of 1862 he was using machine coloured maps produced on power-driven lithographic presses.
The firm also supplied atlases and textbooks overseas starting with an atlas for Australian schools in 1865 and for New Zealand in 1869. The demand from board schools, established after 1870, enabled further expansion in the market for general textbooks, school stationery, atlases and wall maps.
- Harold Fullard, ‘Philip, George (1800–1882)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004