or, perhaps Olive the Woolly Blogger...

Another Olive film update

I really have no developments to report since my last update. That, however, doesn’t prevent me from having something to say.

Paul Edward Werner

I recently had cause to reflect on my family history and discovered that my great, great grandfather was prominent enough that 80 years after his death there is still plenty of mention of him out there in cyberspace.

Paul Edward Werner immigrated to the United States in 1867 at the age of 16. His father, Ernst Edward Werner, was mayor of a small farming community (Gruibingen) near Stuttgart, Germany. That status did not come with great wealth and “P.E.” left for the states to find his way in life. He settled in Akron, Ohio and through hard work and dedication eventually became one of the city’s great industrialists.

Here are a couple of websites that provide interesting facts about his career:



He amassed great personal wealth over the course of his career, the pinnacle of which included the nation’s largest book publishing company, Werner Printing and Lithograph Co. Founded in 1886, the company opened branches in 20 countries. However, he also lost everything due to massive legal fees that mounted thanks to lawsuits filed in every country in which he conducted business. The lawsuits, brought forth by Encyclopedia Britannica, alleged trademark violation. Although my great, great grandfather won virtually every suit, the legal fees proved too great and he was forced to file for bankruptcy. After the publishing empire crumbled, P.E. ventured into the rubber manufacturing industry in Kansas City but lost financial backing and the company folded. In 1927 he returned to his former home in Akron, nearly broke but not disgraced–he was given a hero’s welcome.

You’re probably asking, ‘What does this have to do with Olive’s quest for Hollywood?’

Well, my great, great grandfather was friends with the likes of President William McKinley, Buffalo Bill Cody, French painter James Tissot, German Count Ferdinand Zeppelin and Queen Victoria. He was connected.  He would have known or been able to establish contact with people who would see the value in an animated film featuring Olive the Woolly Bugger—people like Robert Redford or Ted Turner. While there is no knowledge of him having been a fly fisherman, he could have opened doors.

I may share my middle and last names with Paul Edward Werner, but I’m not having such luck.



  1. Law Offices of Bob Loblaw

    You are hereby notified of cease a desist order #2011-56 granted on 1 Smarch 2011 by the 83rd district court of Los Angeles.

    To which firm should we direct correspondence regarding your infringement of my client’s copyright, as it pertains to the Grizzly the Dry Fly series of children’s literature and direct marketed DVD’s?

    • Kirk Werner

      Dear sir,

      Bite me.


      Olive the Woolly Bugger

  2. Sage

    Hehe. “Bite me.” I’m pretty sure your great, great grandfather would have said something similar 🙂

    This is so cool that he is your great, great grandfather. I have no relation to him (or you) other than I work in Akron running a small company. I bought another building down the road. But I really wanted your great, great grandfather’s building. It’s not for sale.

    I wanted it because A: it is a kick ass looking building. B: I wanted to be connected to someone like your great, great grandfather.

    But you are definitely connected to him. You have him in you.

    I haven’t read more of your blog. But I will.

    I’m sure you have him in you. You’ll get it done.

    I will keep an eye out for your film. 🙂

    • Kirk Werner


      First, thanks for compiling the info on P.E. Werner and posting it on your blog. I obviously never met him, but my dad’s family all hailed from Akron. P.E. had three sons, one of which was my great grandfather Edward Paul Werner (I did meet him when I was young). My grandfather, whom I never did meet, left Akron for Tacoma, WA when my dad was very young and that’s how my immediate branch of the family came to not live in Akron. The story of P.E.’s rise and fall is certainly an interesting aspect of our family history. Had it not been for Encyclopedia Britannica, I might have been born into great wealth and would have Robert Redford on my speed dial. As it is, I am but a mere commoner. 😉

      But one never knows who reads one’s blog. Who knows, perhaps if you were to just happen to mention this, someone reading your blog would know someone of influence in the film industry and I will strike a big film deal. If I do, I’ll buy that old building which belonged to my great, great, grandfather and present it to you as a token of my gratitude. 🙂

      Thanks for the nice words.

  3. Joseph

    I have a 1909 akron Ohio encyclopedia it looks just like the Britannica’s except it says only Werner no Britannica at all it says with new supplemental matter volume x1 any help I would appreciate thank you

  4. Joseph

    Did Paul e Werner make a 1909 encyclopedia in Akron Ohio 1909 I have his encyclopedias but there’s no info on it online any help I would appreciate

    • Kirk Werner

      Hello, Joseph. You said that you have his encyclopedias so that would mean to me that you own a set of encyclopedias printed by the werner Printing Company, yes?

  5. Joseph

    Yes they were given by a family member do you know were I can find info on it.I read of Paul e Werner I did all my home work but these books don’t pop up but its not hole set I have like 13 voulumes I think

    • Kirk Werner

      There’s not much more I can tell you other than what you’ve already read: The encyclopedias were printed by the Werner Printing Company, owned by my great, great grandfather Paul E. Werner. As I suggested, you might want to contact the Summit County Historical Society of Akron—they may have whatever specific info you’re looking for.

  6. Joseph

    OK and I promise I will get this book out there is more to it this book was supposed to be published the same year of the Britannica but because Britannica had more money they won but I believe I can prove with these books that he should have been the owner of it.its like the hole history of this book was wiped from the internet .thanks for the site information I hope I find something god bless and thank you

  7. Joseph

    Can I email you pictures of the book I contacted the Akron university and nothing uneven went to new York museum and no onre has seen these books

  8. Joseph

    These books were made the same year his company went down in 1910 I even have one from Werner called guide to systematic readings James Baldwin and it says inside guide to Werner encyclopedia I know I am close to solving this

  9. Joseph

    It doesn’t have the word Britannica any were on it

    • Kirk Werner

      Nor should it. Britannica is/was a trademark of the company who published Encyclopedia Britannica. The official title for the set published by the Werner Printing Company was Werner Encyclopedia.

  10. Joseph

    I can’t read your full comment can you email me at Bennettsgodschild@gmail.com thank you

  11. Joseph

    I believe that Werner made a set of encyclopedias and had James Baldwin write the introduction but when the company fell in 1910 they didn’t publish it cause of funds 5 years latter Werner went to the rubber company but sat on these encyclopedias and somehow they ended up staying from public eyes infill now this keeps getting more and more interesting I know there’s more to it though why didn’t he use these books instead of the rubber company .so many questions

  12. Joseph

    Its the first edition I found out

  13. Joseph

    OK so I have come to my conclusion on your great grandfather Paul E.Werner.
    In 1902 he printed the Britannica guide to systematic reading .
    Then in 1909 he took the Britannica 1902 and revised it in Akron Ohio.
    The Britannica was printed at his other company in 1902.he then priced together,looks he
    Says in the book and revised his own dictionaries with prints from the pach bros.
    They make maps.there prints burned down in a fire at there company and shortly before
    Paul tryed to publish it the pach bros go out of business .they were riding
    On this encyclopedia to go viral.but when Paul lost at court he wasn’t able to publish and because
    He was being tryed for publishing copy rights probably no one wanted to work without him anymore
    Witch is why he shut down in 1910 but he still held on to the encyclopedias and that’s when these have
    Been bounced around now I want the world to know his story

  14. Joseph

    By 1900 the company claimed to be the largest book company in America but legal battles with the brittannica later resulted in
    1 million dollar loss .theres proof that Saalfeld couldn’t publish the Americanized encyclopedia that the company
    Printed through Werner.who was also working on the reprint of the James baldwin systematic reading.it was revised in 1899 1900 and in 1904 it was the first time being printed in the Akron Ohio printing Werner building.then when Werner tried to revise his own addition of the brittannica ,brittannica either found out what he was doing and beat him to it by buying
    The rights to the the 9th brittannica.but they bought the rights during the time Werner finished his encyclopedia
    Witch made Metro know he made his brittannica before the brittannica made there’s.so I compared his encyclopedias to the eleventh edition and found most of the brittannica 11 came from the 9th and werners was the same but it had pictures and maps that brittannica didn’t have.i even looked up the pach bros maps with are in his books and found the company in New York.i found out there building was fought on fire during the same time Werner was trying to publish his book.as if someone was sabatashing Werner from becoming the next amaericanised auther and printing company.as for saalfield he couldn’t publish his 12 volume addition to the 9th brittannica .saalfield had to destroy the books he had plus the plated since another encyclopedia called Werner unerversal encyclopedia claimed that saalfield took parts from his encyclopedias that he had full right of supposedly.but I believe brittannica wanted to cut out Werner since he was immigrated here.and that was during the time of some war.but this would conclude werners encyclopedias never went through the publishing process since the court said his book wasn’t excepted in the publishing since it was proven to have a couple of articles from some old encyclopedias.that was encyclopedias are,there supposed to be revised and people shouldn’t be descriminated to add a piece of history to the brittannica if they wanted too.werners encyclopedia to me is the real first Americanized encyclopedia of the world.also means this book has stuff other encyclopedias had since this material was chosen and picked from werner and saalfield so some of the arts and maps and columns should be able to be copy righted I think and who better than you.a Werner.thats why I am trying to find this out.these books came to me for a reason and I’m going to get his work out there one way or another yes there versions online but not with the exact maps and prints this was like a ruff draft I believe there’s no dates or publishers or owners of the images inside weird.but I’ll keep you updated thank you for hearing me out.

  15. Chris

    I am Kirk’s second cousin. I found a Werner Encyclopedia on eBay and purchased it. I received two books. One was a Werner encyclopedia in great condition, the other was the same book but the cover was cut open revealing an encyclopedia brittanica with the werner encyclopedia foreword. I have a new interest in this as we have moved to Ohio and live about an hour from Akron. Also came accross this website with some detailed history on the lawsuits.


    How you doing Kirk?

    • Kirk Werner

      Hello to you, my First Cousin Once-Removed (you are a second cousin to my kids). Yeah, it gets confusing 😉

      Great to hear from you. That’s intriguing what you mentioned about the book you bought having cover cut open revealing Encyclopediaa Brittanica. Wonder what that’s all about?

      I have a couple boxes of deteriorating Werner Encyclopedias that I’ve been toting around with me for years. I believe—though don’t quote me on it—that it is a complete set. At one time I was going to look into having the bindings restored, but never got around to it. Some are in worse shape than others. If you ever have an inkling to want these, let me know. I haven’t been to Akron since I was 3 or 4. I would like to go back there some time and see the old Werner Castle and seek out some of the other family points of interest. Neat that you now live so close. Thanks for that link…I’m reading away at it gradually.

      Here’s another article I wrote that you might find somewhat interesting:

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