McGraw-Hill Education traces its history back to 1888 when James H. McGraw, co-founder of the company, purchased the American Journal of Railway Appliances. He continued to add further publications, eventually establishing The McGraw Publishing Company in 1899. His co-founder, John A. Hill, had also produced several technical and trade publications and in 1902 formed his own business, The Hill Publishing Company.
In 1909 both men agreed upon an alliance and combined the book departments of their publishing companies into The McGraw-Hill Book Company. John Hill served as President, with James McGraw as Vice-President. 1917 saw the merger of the remaining parts of each business into The McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, Inc.