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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
24 Jan 2011 NS

Altemus book published for Montgomery Ward & Co.


In Series #85-Famous Red and White Books (http://henryaltemus.com/series/series85.htm) Uncle Tom's Cabin was book #10. It was published in 1894. A book with the identical cover and contents has been discovered that has Montgomery Ward & Co. as the imprint as opposed to Henry Altemus. The Montgomery Ward book says "Souvenir Edition" at the top of the title page and has Montgomery Ward & Co., with the 111-116 Michigan Avenue, Chicago address at the base of the title page.

The copyright page for both books is identical: Henry Altemus, 1894.

This book undoubtedly was published by Altemus for Montgomery Ward. I suspect it was a promotional item since it does have "Souvenir Edition" printed on the top of the title page. Most likely it was published in the mid-1890's.


29 Nov 2010 NS

Altemus & Co.- Blank Book


Here is a 19th century blank book published by Altemus & Co. This is only the second one that I have seen.

As is also noted in the previous blank book shown, inside the front cover is a label indicating Altemus & Co. with catalogue number and volume identifiers.

This book dates from the 1880's. Altemus was at the 26 South Fourth Street address at that time. It appears that the 26 S. Fourth Street address was used mainly for ledgers and blank books while the Market Street and later the Cherry Street addresses were publishing Photographic Albums and Bibles.

I want to thank Susan Caughlan from the Worchester Historical Society for providing these pictures.


30 Oct 2010 NS

Leinbach & Bro. Advertising


Henry Altemus/Altemus & Co. published books for department stores over the years. Altemus published Bibles for Montgomery Ward (see http://www.henryaltemus.com/publications/montward.htm) and Shakespeare's Works for Gusky's, a clothier in Pittsburgh (See http://henryaltemus.com/publications/gusky.htm).



Altemus had a long relationship with Leinbach & Bro. which was a clothier store in Reading, Pennsylvania. As early as 1893 and as late as 1915 Leinbach gave away Altemus books as some sort of promotion (perhaps with the purchase of an item). Most of these books are stamped on the front or back cover with "Compliments of Leinbach & Bro". Within these books are two pages of ads for Leinbach. One ad is bound into the front and one is bound into the back of the book. There are a number of different versions of the ads. Some ads are personalized to the book it is placed in. An example is found in the book "Ifs". The front ad is titled- "Ifs of Clothing". (see below) I have never seen any other company advertisements placed within an Altemus book.

A variety of books and their ads are shown below.


















1900 from the book Paul Kruger
















From the book "Ifs" - 1907











The "Brief History" ad is similar to the Post-1915 pictures except that there is a different border decoration and the lettering font is different. The "Reasonable Clothing" ad has a different border decoration than the similar post-1915 ad. It is the same however as the ad found in the 1915 book.














Around 1915








Henry Altemus was not the only publishing house to have a relationship with Leinbach & Bro. I have recently discovered two other publishers whose books were given away "compliments of Leinbach & Bro.".

Hurst & Co., a New York publisher, that was active from the early 1870's to 1919 published numerous reprint series as well as many juvenile series in the first and second decade of the 20th century.

Two Hurst books are shown here.

The first is a 1910 book, Little Minister, published within the 108 book Ansonia Series. Although this publisher's series was printed for several years, since the ad states that Leinbach had been active for forty-five years, the book must be from 1910 because the company started in 1865. 1865 + 45 = 1910.

The back of the book ad is the same that was seen in the Altemus books beginning in 1909.




The second Hurst book, Brooks' Addresses is part of the 25 volume Golden Hour Series. Because the front ad notes that Leinbach & Bro. has been active for 46 years, this is therefore a 1911 book. Again the back ad of "Reliable Clothing" is unchanged from the 1909 ad.




I. M. Beaver was a small religious book publishing house located in Reading, Pa. It would seem therefore to be a natural for Leinbach & Bro. advertising.

The ads in this book have not been seen elsewhere. The book is about several people "rambling through Europe". The front ad mentions how the rambling men wore Leinbach clothes in their travels. The back ad is a general information blurb. The back ad notes that Leinbach has been operating for 47 years. Thus -1912 is the year for these ads. Since the book's title page has 1911 at the base. Most likely the ad went into unsold 1911 books.





Leinbach & Bro. was founded by Joseph A. and George A. Leinbach in 1865. The store was located at 851 Penn Street (8th and Penn) in Reading, Pennsylvania. In 1890 Charles Leinbach, a nephew, was also made a named partner. The company incorporated in 1919. Its product line included men's and boys' suits as well as children's clothing. Overcoats are also noted in a number of ads.

Some examples of Leinbach trade cards and other advertising are also shown below.









15 Oct 2010 NS

Read's Female Poets of America, Third Edition


Read's Female poets of America, Third Edition, published by E. H. Butler in 1850 is reviewed in Sartain's Magazine in 1849. As can be seen, the article notes that Altemus did the ornamental design. Without this article it would be impossible to be sure what company did the binding.

It is of interest that the decorative pattern is very similar to the 1850 Leaflets of Memory (see Altemus bindery page) book also published by E.H. Butler.


14 Oct 2010 NS

Benevolent Order of Elks Bible


There are a number of examples in which Altemus did a small print run of a book for a private organization. This Bible (B60) appears to have been specially made for "The Elks".

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks initials and symbol is engraved in gold gilt on the front of this Bible. There are no other identifying marks on the Bible.

Altemus published Bibles as noted above until the late 1890's. This Bible was published after 1900 given that the Altemus incorporation is indicated on the title page.

This Bible is simpler in substance than most Altemus Bibles. None of the extra features usually seen, i.e. pages for family information, Smith's dictionary, dictionary of names, etc. are included in this book. The cover and spine are different from any 19th century Altemus Bible and are plainer.

Also of note is the change at the bottom of the title page. The usual "and there was light" has been changed to "The Light of the World".

Post-1900 Titlepage


02 Oct 2010 NS

American Circular and Trade Gazette 1859



07 Jul 2010 NS

Montgomery Ward & Co. Publication (Bible)


As has been noted before, Altemus occasionally did publishing for other companies. It did a Shakespeare's Works for Gusky's Department Store. Here is an example of a Bible that was published for Montgomery Ward & Co. The cover is B11 (See: http://henryaltemus.com/bibles/bibles.htm) which was published between 1894 and 1896. It appears that all Altemus did is replace its imprint with that of the department store giant.


05 Jul 2010 NS

1880 Altemus & Co. Ephemera


This little advertising calendar (3.875 x 2.375) from 1880 from Altemus & Co. points out the company's ability to manufacture whatever type of book the client wanted. At this time Altemus had not been routinely publishing reading books on its own imprint. Bibles, photographic albums and scrapbooks were the mainstay of their own imprint's publishing business but Altemus was very busy publishing for the needs of others.


28 Mar 2010 NS

Altemus & Co. Books - The Talisman by Henry D. Moore


The Altemus & Co. imprint can be found on Photographic albums, scrapbooks and a handful of other publications. Books with this imprint are quite scarce. Here is an example of a book with the Altemus & Co imprint. This title (The Talisman) was first published by Hogan and Thompson, a Philadelphia publisher, in 1851.

The date of the Altemus publication is unclear. Based on the use of this imprint plus the style of the book a date between 1851 and the 1870's is my best guess.

This is definitely the earliest Altemus & Co imprint that I have seen with exception of some photographic albums.

The book has gold gilt edges and measures 6.5 x 9.5.


23 Mar 2010 NS

Non Series #84- Klondike and the Yukon Country


Here is an interesting flyer that advertises Klondike written by L.A. Coolidge. It is 5.75 x 3.5. This piece was put out by the Thomson Stationery Company located in Vancouver. Two Klondike books are noted. The Coolidge authored book was published in 1897 by Altemus.

The first edition was published in 1897 in both wraps and hardcover. Later in 1897 Altemus did a second printing which included several new chapters.

The first edition had 213 pages plus ads. The later edition had 251 pages.


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