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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.


Date Series Information
30 Jan 2014 NS

Altemus Bindery


Pearls of American Poetry published by Wiley and Putnam 1847

This elegant book has the binder's imprint on the upper right corner of an endpaper. This is the only Wiley and Putnam book that I know of that was bound by Altemus.

Pictures courtesy of the Library Company of Philadelphia.


29 Jan 2014 NS

Altemus Bindery


Psalms and Hymns published by Presbyterian Board of Publication 1843
Here is a nice example of an Altemus bindery product. Note that the identifier for the publisher is a stamped into the upper right corner of an endpaper.

Altemus binding examples from the 1840's are quite uncommonly seen.

Pictures are courtesy of the Library Company of Philadelphia.


28 Jan 2014 NS

Altemus & Co.- Tenth Annual Report of the Women's Christian Association (1881)


This 11 page pamphlet was published by the "Press of Altemus and Co. in 1881. Interestingly Altemus did not publish any other Annual Reports for this organization.

Pictures courtesy of The Library Company of Philadelphia. Special thanks to Nicole Joniec.


29 Nov 2013 NS

Altemus Bindery


Leaflets of Memory 1847

This earlier "Leaflets" was also bound by Altemus. As opposed to the later books, this binding actually is signed by Altemus. In the middle of the spine it says "Altemus". The later books note in the advertisement (preface) that Altemus was the binder.

The publisher of all the Leaflets of Memory was E. H. Butler. It would seem that all of these books (1840's and 1850's) were bound by Altemus but it is not proven as of yet.


18 Sep 2013 NS

Ledger/Blank Book


Here is another 19th century ledger published by Altemus and Co. These blank books are incredibly scarce. The only evidence that it was published by Altemus is the label that was pasted on the inside front cover. This was also the case with the other two ledgers/blank books shown on this page.

The Altemus 26 South Fourth Street address indicates a book from the 1880's. This ledger was obviously produced for the Safe Harbor Safe Deposit Company. It has 440 pages. It is 14 x 9.5.


29 Jun 2013 NS

Altemus Bindery


American Politics by Thomas V. Cooper C. R. Brodix, Chicago 1884

Here is an example of a leather bound book from the Altemus bindery. It was published in 1884 by the Chicago publisher C. R. Brodix. Note that this is basically the same book as the above 1883 book which was published by the Fireside Publishing Company. Note however that on the title page the 1884 book says "New and revised edition".

This is an example of an easy to identify Altemus bindery product since it says bound by Henry Altemus on the title page.


04 May 2013 NS

Altemus Bindery


Here is an 1851 book bound by Altemus and Co.

Christmas Blossoms by Uncle Thomas. Published by E. H. Butler & Co. 1851

Although this book cover does not indicate Altemus as the binder as the other Christmas Blossoms' books, there is little doubt that Altemus did the binding of this book. Note the vases on the 1848 and 1849 books. All the vases on all three vases are identical. These vases plus the fact that Altemus did the other two Christmas Blossoms's books make it a certainty that Altemus bound this book.


27 Feb 2013 NS

E. R. Curtis and Company, Cincinnati (Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress)


Altemus occasionally produced books for other companies to claim as their own. These books are identical to the Altemus editions except for the imprint which indicates a company other than Altemus. Examples of these books are hard to find. Here is a new one for the database.

This book has the E. R. Curtis & Co. imprint on the title page but in every other way is identical to the Altemus published book of the same title.
1. The Henry Altemus embossed logo is on the back cover of the book.
2. The front cover is identical to the Altemus Format 2 Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress which was first published in late 1890. (http://henryaltemus.com/images/NS_28.htm)
3. The title page has Altemus' Edition at the top.
4. On the copyright page it shows the earliest of the three Altemus Format 2 copyright notices.

Thus, this book was published by Altemus for E. R. Curtis in the early 1890's.


11 Jan 2013 NS

Scrapbooks (Newspaper Cuttings)


This large scrapbook (11.25 x 9.25) is similar to the smaller scrapbook previously shown. It has 100 pages for newspaper cuttings and alphabetized ledger pages as well. This scrapbook was also copyrighted in 1874.


08 Nov 2012 NS

Altemus Bindery


The Poetical Works of Rogers, Campbell, J. Montgomery, Lambe, and Kirke White

1847 Published by Grigg and Elliot, Philadelphia


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