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Book publishers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries used a number of means to promote their latest works. Trade magazines such as Publishers' Weekly were packed with the latest publishers' offerings. Some companies sent out fliers to bookstores and potential customers. Altemus mainly used inserts placed into books. Sometimes these consisted of a mini-catalogue of books. Other times the ads were a single sheet advertising several books. Although I have accumulated a number of these over the years, I am convinced that what you see here is just the tip of the ad iceberg.

During the 90 plus year history of the Altemus publishing firm it published more than books, photographic albums, Bibles etc. Altemus not only bound books for others in the early years but produced numerous items under the Altemus & Co. imprint for others needing paper items. In this section some of these items will be shown.

 

Click thumbnail images to enlarge.

 

Advertisements
Date Series Information
20 Nov 2006 1

Juvenile Series Ad #1-1910
Series #1-34

 

In the teens Altemus' hugely popular boys' and girls' series books became the mainstay of its publishing business. Various advertisements were used by Altemus to increase the interest in these books. Accordion pamphlets advertising the many juvenile series were placed inside many books of this era. Currently I have seen a number of different advertisements that fit this description. They will be shown and described in chronological order (earliest to latest).

The first ad pamphlet appeared in 1910. Several 1910 books are seen here: Circus Boys, High School Girls, Automobile Girls, but no 1911 books are noted. These pamphlets varied in size. This one only has 4 panels per side. Some have as many as 6 panels per side. The entire piece is 13 x 6.25.

 

 

 

 

06 Nov 2006 NS

Non Series #28 Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress

 

This ad was found in the book of the same name. Although Altemus published this book over several years in the early 1890s, this ad is for the 1891 book.
During these two years Altemus offered two formats priced at $3.00 and $6.00. This can be seen at the bottom of the sheet. By 1892, the $6.00 book was no longer advertised. Instead a $5.00 Presentation book bound in Persian Levant Morocco was offered.

 

30 Oct 2006 78

Dore Masterpieces

 

This sheet was found in the book of the same name. This ad is identical to the Altemus catalogue listing except for the last paragraph which is not found in the catalogues. This broadside was used by Altemus from 1889 until the mid 1890s. Similar sheets have been seen for other Altemus Dore illustrated books.

 

11 Oct 2006 NS

Non Series

 

Non Series #11- Around the World in Eighty Minutes

Around the World in Eighty Minutes advertisement

In 1894 Altemus published "Around the World in Eighty Minutes". Written by Wm. S. Walsh, it consisted of text opposite photographs of monuments or edifices. Pictures were from all over the world, thus the title.

The book came in two different formats. The illuminated paper covers book was priced at fifty cents while the Fine English cloth and silver book was one dollar. Of interest is the fact that two different hardcover books have been seen with fine English cloth while no example of the illuminated paper covered books has been discovered.

The two English cloth books differ from each other not only in the cover design but in the quality of their printing also. The book noted as “a” has thicker better quality paper as compared to the book designated as “b”. Thus the former book is significantly thicker and heavier. The book pictured in the ad is type "b". Two cover colors have been seen.

This wonderful glossy advertising sheet which is 5.5 x 2.25 was found in an Altemus Library, Format 2 book.

 

10 Nov 2005 89

Folly Series

 

Altemus Advertising Flyer - An advertising sheet announcing the new Caroline Wells' Folly Book, Folly in the Forest has been found. The 7.125 x 3.25 inch flyer announces the Folly book on one side and Frederick Ober's For Prey and Spoils on the verso.

The Folly book was originally part of the two book Folly Series, series #89. Later it was included in the Little Men and Women Series, series #125 which was introduced in 1908.

The Ober book was at first part of Series #60, Boys and Girls Series of New Copyrights. Later it was also included in the Little Men and Women Series.

Both books are included in the bibliography's main section of pictures.

Both the books here were also published in 1902.

It is presumed that since the sheet announces the new publication of Folly in the Forest, that the advertisement dates from the 1901-1902 era. It is also presumed that there are many more of these flyers from this vintage not yet discovered.

Flyer 1902 Side 1

Flyer 1902 Side 2

 

31 Oct 2005 60

The Boy’s and Girl’s Series of New Copyrights

 

1902 Advertising Flyer found
Within a Diplome L’Honneur Series book a one sheet advertising flyer has been discovered. This series was only published in 1902 and both books advertised on the flyer are also 1902 books.

As pictured below, on one side of the flyer is a picture of the frontispiece from the book Gypsy the Talking Dog by Tudor Jenks. The Jenks’ book was originally part of the two volume Jenks’ Talking Animal Series (Series #111). Later, beginning in 1908, it was part of the Little Men and Women Series (Series #125)

The other side of the flyer advertises Wings and Fetters by Florence Morse Kingsley. This book was part of The Boy’s and Girl’s Series of New Copyrights (Series # 60) published in 1901-1902. Of interest is that the picture seen on the flyer does not appear in the book. This book has an illustration page which lists the four glossy pictures found within. None match the flyer’s picture. A puzzle to be sure.

The flyer is 7.25” x 3.25”.

1902 Ad #1

1902 Ad #2

 

31 Oct 2005 111

Jenk's Talking Animal Series

 

1902 Advertising Flyer found
Within a Diplome L’Honneur Series book a one sheet advertising flyer has been discovered. This series was only published in 1902 and both books advertised on the flyer are also 1902 books.

As pictured below, on one side of the flyer is a picture of the frontispiece from the book Gypsy the Talking Dog by Tudor Jenks. The Jenks’ book was originally part of the two volume Jenks’ Talking Animal Series (Series #111). Later, beginning in 1908, it was part of the Little Men and Women Series (Series #125)

The other side of the flyer advertises Wings and Fetters by Florence Morse Kingsley. This book was part of The Boy’s and Girl’s Series of New Copyrights (Series # 60) published in 1901-1902. Of interest is that the picture seen on the flyer does not appear in the book. This book has an illustration page which lists the four glossy pictures found within. None match the flyer’s picture. A puzzle to be sure.

The flyer is 7.25” x 3.25”.

1902 Ad #1

1902 Ad #2

 

17 Aug 2005 129

Magic Wand Series

 

An advertising flyer for the Magic Wand Series (#129) has been discovered.

This 6 volume collection of books is very special. Tudor Jenks wrote the books and John R. Neill, the Oz illustrator, illustrated them. The Neill pictures have made these books very collectable and much more valuable than many other Altemus published fairy tale books. Of course, this is also true for the Neill illustrated books of the 6 volume Fairy Tale Series (#84) which was published in 1906.

The Magic Wand books are 6” x 4.5” and were published in only one format although some of the books have been seen with different cloth pictorial covers. Brown colored endpapers were noted (see below). The volumes were all priced at 50 cents.

From the Altemus catalogue: "These stories are bright, humorous, and especially clever in text and illustration. They are fresh examples of the author’s delicate flights of fancy."

Magic Wand Binding

Magic Wand Frontis

Magic Wand Endpages

Magic Wand Flyer

Magic Wand Flyer

Format 1

 

13 Aug 2005 152

Printemps Series

 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Altemus - Altemus published the works of numerous authors whose works they were not authorized to publish. For the most part these were books not covered by the copyright act. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter was probably the most well known of the Altemus unauthorized books. In fairness however, perhaps the most well known and popular books “pirated” were the 4 books of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. These were published as part of the Printemps Series.

 

The Printemps Series was a 25 book series published in its entirety in 1895 and only 1895. The cloth multicolored cover was the same for all this series’ books. It is presumed it was jacketed with a jacket that matched the cover but this has not been verified.

 

Confirming the scarcity of these books is the fact that the classic bibliography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Green and Gibson only mentions two of the four Doyle books published in the series (The Sign of the Four and Beyond the City). Omitted are A Case of Identity and Other Stories (shown here) and A Study in Scarlet.

 

These books are without illustrations and are 6.5” x 4.5”.

 

A Printemps Series advertisement as well as the cover of a Doyle book are seen below

Printemps Advertisement

Printemps Book

 

13 Jul 2005 NS

Altemus Photographic Album & Ephemera

 

Altemus produced photographic albums from the early 1860s to at least the 1890s. (See Section 1 in the bibliography.)

Today a card which is shown below was discovered in the album pictured below. The pictured album is somewhat fancier than most other Altemus albums. Note the inlaid gold gilt designs on the fore-edges of the album. The bottom, top and interior page edges all have a gold gilt leaf design embossed on top of the gold gilt page edges. (See picture). The cover is sealskin with an ornate inlaid gold pattern. This was one of the more expensive examples of photographic albums that Altemus produced.

 

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