For a comprehensive review of
the Altemus Photographic Albums see http://henryaltemus.com/albums/photoalbums.htm
Altemus produced photographic
albums from the early 1860s to at least the 1890s. (See Section 1 in
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
Here is another advertising
trade card for photographic albums. Its date is unclear since it was
not found within a book or album.
Although it is similar to the card above, there are several
differences. This card stresses the Hinge-Back nature of the albums
with that phrase on both sides. The other card does not mention the
These advertising cards are very scarce.
I found a new Altemus
photographic advertising card today. All three cards seen here are very
similar and yet there are subtle differences between the cards. This
card has the familiar eagle on the front but above the eagle there is
no writing as in card 2a. Below the ALTEMUS & COs lettering but
above the words Photographic Albums, this card has the words Patent
Hinge Back as does card 2a but not card 1a. Thus this card is different
from the other two cards but not by much.
The reverse of this card is the same as card 2b. The card is 2.375 x
The album this card was found in was the typical 1860's to 1890's
album. It has 25 pages each of which hold two cards-one on each side.
It is 6 x 5.5.
A new photographic album has
been discovered. Although the copyright belongs to Henry Altemus 1888
it was actually published by the Lovell Manufacturing Company in Erie
Pennsylvania. It is unlike any Altemus album that I have seen. The
copyright must stem from the use of Altemus' patented binding.
The history of the Lovell Manufacturing Company can be found at http://www.lovellplace.com/history.html
in which the authors have written a great summary of the company.
The Album which is called Photo Art Gallery has 16 pages all 8 x 10.
Each page can hold one cabinet card on the front and on the back.
Surrounding the card on each side are the pictures of famous people in
various areas of society. Each page is different and has 10 pictures.
(See below) There is an index in the back which alphabetically lists
all of the portraits. It does appear that each page has its own
specialized area, That is, a presidents' page, an authors' page, a
soldiers' page, etc.
The cover is made up of a red velvet material with embossed lettering
on the front which says Photo Gallery.
This is indeed a very rare and special album.