Johann Jacob Weber

Portrait: Johann Jacob Weber
Johann Jacob Weber, portrait painting, undated
Exspectabo / Wikimedia Commons

Johann Jacob Weber

A Leipzig newspaper publisher banks on the power of images

... and through a melding of image and word evoke a picture of the present ...

From an article in Leipzig newspaper Illustrierten Zeitung, 1843

Though born of humble circumstances, when the book dealer Johann Jacob Weber finally settled in Leipzig in 1830, he brought a wealth of experience to the task. He had apprenticed with E. Thurneysen in Basel, then worked as an assistant in Paris before working for Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig and Herder in Freiburg. In 1830 he took over as head of the Leipzig branch office of Paris-based Bossange Père and created the German-language Pfennigmagazin on the basis of the English penny magazine, offering compelling reading material augmented by interesting illustrations.

In 1834 he was finally able to strike out on his own with the J.J. Weber company. When the first issue of the Leipzig Illustrirten Zeitung was published on 1 July 1843, in founding the periodical initially published at Brockhaus, he created a mirror of the age that to this day allows us to take in the cultural and political life of his era on the cusp of the industrial revolution in a most lively and appealing fashion.