1935 - Allen Lane publishes the first Penguin books, realising his vision to make quality books available to all at low prices. The books cost sixpence and are colour-coded: orange for fiction, blue for biography and green for crime. The first batch includes books by Ernest Hemingway and Agatha Christie.
1936 - By March 1936 - ten months after the company’s launch on 30 July 1935 - one million Penguin books have been printed.
1937 - Allen Lane launches a non-fiction imprint after overhearing someone at a King’s Cross station bookstall mistakenly ask for “one of those Pelican books”. The first Pelican book is George Bernard Shaw’s The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism, Capitalism, Sovietism and Fascism followed by titles including A Short History of the World by H.G. Wells.
1940 - The first four Puffin Picture Books are published with the aim of helping evacuated city children adjust to life in the country. Titles such as War on Land are such a success that they are quickly followed by fiction. One title is Orlando the Marmalade Cat, the hero of 19 books between 1941 - 1972.
1942 - Penguin sets up the Armed Forces Book Club, to bring entertainment and comfort to soldiers cut off from friends and family.
1945 - Animal Farm is published by Secker & Warburg.