Friedrich Christoph, a German publisher, born in Rudolstadt, April 21, 1772, died in Gotha, March 18, 1843. He was early employed in book stores in Leipsic and Hamburg, where in 1796 he established himself on his own account, and Johann Hein-rich Besser became his partner in 1798. The house attained great importance in Germany, but suffered during the French occupation of Hamburg, his patriotism involving him in great difficulties. In 1822 he founded a house in Gotha, leaving to his partner the business in Hamburg, which is still continued under the name of Perthes-Besser. He rendered great service to the trade, especially as one of the founders of the book exchange in Leipsic. - See Friedrich Perthes' Leben, by one of his sons (3 vols., Gotha, 1848-'51; 6th ed., 1872; English translation, 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1856).
Johann Georg Justus, popularly known as Justus, uncle of the preceding, founded in 1785 a publishing house at Gotha, and died in 1816. This was continued by his son Wilhelm (1793-1853), who was the first of the family to issue (1816) the Almanack de Gotha in French and German (Gothaisches genealogisches Taschenbuch), previously published by Ettinger. "Wilhelm bequeathed the business, under the name of its founder Justus Perthes, to his son Bernhard Wilhelm (1821-'57), who in 1854 founded a geographical institute, which has acquired great importance within the last 20 years under the direction of August Petermann, by promoting explorations and publishing the Mittheilungen, a monthly periodical. The firm of Justus Perthes is now conducted (1875) for account of the widow of Bernhard Wilhelm Perthes, Rudolf Besser being a partner. It employs more than 200 persons, and has become especially celebrated for issuing excellent maps and narratives of explorations.