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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.

 

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Date Series Information
16 Apr 2008 NS

Altemus Bindery

 

Here is an example of the Altemus book bindery. This book, The Poetical Works of Rogers, Campbell, J. Montgomery, Lamb Kirke White was published by Grigg & Elliot, a Philadelphia company, in 1847. If you look very closely at the top of the book's front cover, you can see the words J. T. Altemus ...Binder Philad. This shows again the difficulty of finding Altemus bindings in the 1840's and 1850's.

 

14 Apr 2008 NS

Altemus Bindery

 

The Leaflets of Memory books were published yearly during the 1840's and 1850's. Previously an 1850 book bound by Altemus has been shown. Now from the same series an 1851 book also published by E.H. Butler has been discovered. As with the previous book, there is nothing that indicates the Altemus bindery on the cover. Mr. Altemus is mentioned in the "advertisement" (preface) of the book as the binder.

The 1851 book is the seventh in the series. I do not know how many (if any) other books beside the 1850 and 1851 were bound by Altemus.

 

13 Apr 2008 NS

Envelope

 

Here is a pre-1900 Altemus envelope. The Henkel & Co. Printers and Publishers was founded in 1806. It still operates today.

 

12 Apr 2008 NS

Envelopes

 

As has been noted, Altemus & Co. continued to produce blank books, ledgers, etc. while they published books (as late as the 1930's). Here are two envelopes with the Fourth Street address. These envelopes are both postmarked in 1932.

Finding these blank books and ledgers is difficult because they are frequently not identified as being the product of the Altemus house.

 

10 Apr 2008 NS

Altemus Bindery

 

Here is an 1850 example. This book published by E. H. Butler & Co. cites Mr. Altemus as the executor of the embellished binding.

 

23 Mar 2008 NS

Salesman Samples

 

This piece includes the attached covers of three of the six books of the Format 1 Wee Books for Wee Folks Series (#185). No other information about this item exists.

 

19 Mar 2008 NS

Ephemera

 

Another receipt for items that were purchased by the Curwensville Bank in 1891. Here is evidence that Altemus produced many non-printed book paper goods. The receipt noted ledgers, collection books, etc.

 

26 Feb 2008 NS

Non Series #136

 

This one page flyer was found in a Young People's Library book published in 1906. It is 6 x 3.25. As noted before, I believe that virtually every Altemus book or series had an associated advertising flyer, pamphlet etc. Finding them is another matter.

Here is one for The Tin Diskers.

 

22 Nov 2007 NS

Ephemera

 

Even as Altemus became more involved in book publishing, it still sold non-book items. Here is receipt from 1891 in which pens were being sold.

 

11 Nov 2007 159

Rose Carnation Series

 

New Advertising Flyer discovered

This 6 x 3.25 inch one page advertising flyer for the Rose Carnation Series was discovered in the Little Lady Val book (#4). This flyer dates from 1906-1908. It is my belief that Altemus produced flyers for all of their series of this era. They are just very difficult to find.

 

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