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The following are questions submitted via email by our visitors.

If you have a question about Altemus books that you'd like answered please click on the Questions link at the bottom left of this page.

We recommend that those inquiring about the identification of a particular book format send pictures along with their question.

 

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Questions & Answers
Date Series Num Information
04 Feb 2007 202

Young People's Library

Q:  I have a book "Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There" by Lewis Carroll, with 50 illustrations. It has a cloth cover with old english style printing of the title in silver. Alice has yellow hair and is wearing a red dress. She's looking into the mirror which has characters from the book in blue on silver background. The book is small about 6 x 4.5. It says on the third page "Price 50 Cents Each" and Henry Altemus, Philadelphia - Copyright 1895 by Henry Altemus. The book is old but I wanted to find out more about it. Can you help.

A:  I will assume that your book is as is shown below.
This book is part of the Young People's Library and you are right that it is from format 1. Format 1 was published from 1895 to early 1898. This particular book was published in several colors. The 1895 book has the date on the bottom of the title page whereas the later reprints do not.

If your book does not have the date on the title page, then the year of publication can be determined by the ads in the front of the book. Listing to Grimm's Fairy Tales-1896, to Black Beauty-1897, Flower Fables- Later 1897-1898.

This is the first Altemus edition (but a later reprint overall) of this book by itself. Altemus did publish this story in combination with Alice in Wonderland in another format in 1895.

This book is not especially rare but it is a nice example of the original pictures by Tenniel of this work.


16 Jan 2007 143

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  Hi: I own a book titled “Two Years Before The Mast” written by Richard H. Dana Jr. and published by Henry Altemus Philadelphia. It is a cloth book that measures about 4.25” x 6.5”. The cloth does have a sort of floral pattern on a blue background in the front and on a purple background on the back. On one of the first pages there is a colored sketch of a ship which looks like it’s signed by WH Luki (couldn’t make out the last name) and the date of 1899. This isn’t an original signature though. On the next page it just says Copyright 1895 by Henry Altemus.

A:  Your book is part of the Petit Trianon Series and was published in 1899. Originally this book came within a box. It is not a first edition. Generally your book is worth $5-10. Every now and then someone will pay more but it is usually because they are novice collectors.


14 Jan 2007 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  We found a copy of Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. The title page (which is attached) does not have a print date. The cover of the book is also attached. We are interested in discovering the print date of the book. Thank you.

A:  Hi. This book is part of the Vademecum Series. This multi volume series of reprints of essays, fiction, poetry, etc. was published between 1894 and 1926. Every year or so the front cover design was changed. Your book which originally came with a box was published between 1909 and 1913.


11 Jan 2007 58

Boys and Girls Classics

Q:  I have a Harraden text with no copyright date. I wonder if you could tell me when this Things Will Take a Turn was published. I'd like to sell it and don't know what to charge;

A:  This cover format was found in two different series. The earlier -Series #58- Boys and Girls Classics (old) was published from 1900-1906. The earlier books in this series had a gold gilt decorative pattern as is seen in the picture. By 1902the gold gilt was deleted. In 1909 the series Boys and Girls Own Library (Series #59) was published using the same cover pattern. The books originally were boxed. Distinguishing between the series can be done by an examination of the back ads.


07 Jan 2007 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have a 4 1/4" x 6/1/4" book. It is titled THE BLITHEDALE ROMANCE by Nathaniel Hawthorne. No Dust Jacket. The cover is caramel or tan colored with flowers in each of the four corners and another flower in the middle. The rectangular title plate has the title, the author and then a scroll of Henry Altemus and to the right another scroll - Philadelphia. Then there is a picture on another page of Nathaniel Hawthorne on the left side and the page to the right side again has THE BLITHEDALE ROMANCE and underneath Nathaniel Hawthorne and underneath that Philadelphia Henry Altemus. There is another page that has Henry Altemus, Manufacturer. There is no date anywhere. The story is 305 pages. Any idea of what year, etc.?

A:  This is an 1896 published book which is part of the Vademecum Series.


15 Dec 2006 69

Classics Series

Q:  Greetings! I have a book from the Altemus Classics Series, A Child's Garden of Verses. It has a different cover on it than the ones you have pictured on your website. I have attached it and am wondering if you have an approximate date of the book.

A:  I do not have the Classics Series books shown as of yet on the website. This series was first published in 1907 with the name changed to the Slip-in-the-Pocket Classics Series in 1909. The series had three different formats of which yours is the first. Your book was deleted from the series in 1913. In order to distinguish if your book was part of the Classics or the Slip-in-the-Pocket Classics Series you would need the dust jacket which states the series name on the front. I am including a couple of pics to show you what I mean.


09 Oct 2006

Title pages

Q:  I have a Henry Altemus book, A Wonder Book, which on the title page has a date of 1842. I thought he didn't publish any works before 1890?

A:  Hello. The title page you are referring to was used in numerous books in the 1890's. It signifies the year Altemus & Co. became an official company. You will note that directly across from the 1842 are the initials HA. These initials stand for Henry Altemus. This date and initials are purely part of the decorative pattern and do not indicate the date that the book was published.

Altemus published many 100s of different Bibles in the 1880s. Also before 1890 it published photo albums and scrapbooks. The Dore Masterpieces were published initially in 1889. Books for reading were published for the first time in 1890.


09 Oct 2006 143

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  I recently found this copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin and I was wondering if you could tell me something about it. It has a floral design on the cover and on the inside title page the copyright date is 1894, but there is a picture of Stowe on the inside that has a copyright date of 1899 and I was wondering when this book was really printed.
On the title page the publisher is named as "Henry Altemus". I would also like to know any other information about this book you may be able to give me. (I've attached some pics) Thank You


A:  Your book was part of the Petit Trianon Series and was published in 1899. This series was one of reprints of fiction, poetry, essays etc. It ran from 1896-1910 and at its peak consisted of 117 volumes. During these years the cover designs changed every year or so . Thus identifying the year your book was printed is relatively easy. Originally your book came enclosed within a labeled box.


16 Aug 2006 158

Riviere Series

Q:  Can you please help identify this book? Two pics attached.

A:  Your book is part of the Riviere Series which was published in 1901. This series consisted of 87 volumes. The books were reprints of various works of fiction, essays, poetry etc. The books originally came with a jacket, a picture of which is enclosed for your interest. Book covers came in various colors. Your book was volume #35. (The number of books was 87 but the numbering went to 165. Altemus just skipped various numbers).


14 Aug 2006 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  When was "The Water-Babies" A Fairy Tale for a Land-Baby, by Charles Kngsley, published?

The cover is dark green with almost a black-green center panel, edges and spine. There appears to be some writing on the spine, but it is not legible.
I appreciate any help you can give.


A:  Your copy of The Water-Babies was published as part of the Vademecum Series in 1907. It originally came with a glassine dust jacket (flimsy transparent paper) in a labeled box.


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