Joseph Lord Taintor (September 21, 1835 - September 1, 1881) was an American publisher of maps and schoolbooks. Born in Colchester, Connecticut, he was the eldest of eight children. He was a sickly child, and never took to the difficulties of farm life, leaning toward reading and study. As a boy he attended the district school in Pomfret, Connecticut, and then Bacon Academy in Colchester where he prepared to enter Yale College. He did so in 1858, but unfortunately his health failed and he had to leave school for a season. Two year later, after engaging in the publishing of the New York State Map and Gazetteer in Northern New York, Taintor reentered Yale in the Class of 1860, graduating with high honors in the summer of 1860. He desired to study and practice law, but after graduation his health would not permit it, so he worked on and published the celebrated Washington Map of the United States under a partnership with his uncle and his brother under the name of S. Taunter and Company. In 1863, Taintor purchased the entire interest in the in the publishing firm and continued the business in his own name on a smaller scale. Also in 1863, Taintor married Isabella Comstock. Still quite determined to practice law, and his health having somewhat improved, Taintor joined the law office of Messrs. Benedict and Martingale of Rochester, New York, but soon realized that his health would not permit him to stay. He reluctantly left the profession in 1865, realizing that his fortune lay in publishing. In 1866, Taintor formed a partnership with his younger brother Charles N. Taintor under the name J. L. Taintor and Company. They continued to publish the Washington Map until 1867, when they sold the plates and copyright and began publishing books in New York City. The name of the firm changed in 1868 to Taintor Brothers and Company, with the addition of an uncle and former partner to the firm. This partnership continued until 1869 when the uncle retired and the two brothers continued undertake the name Taintor Brothers. Around this time the brothers decided to enter the difficult field of school book publishing and purchased the Analytical Readers and Speller edited by Edwards and Webb from Messrs. Mason Brothers. Another new partnership was formed under the name Taintor and Company, this time with the addition of John E. Gillette. Eventually, through sheer perseverance, the firm established themselves in the field. In 1876, the firm purchased the Franklin Series and Hilliard Series of Readers. It was through the excellent judgement and devotion to the firm of Joseph L. Taintor that this firm found the success that it did. Sadly, however, in November, 1879 Taintor was stricken ill by pneumonia, and by August, 1880 dissolved his connections with the publishing firm. He died on September 1, 1881, leaving behind a wife and five children.