Henry Altemus Company


Photographic Albums


Altemus Photographic Albums


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 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.








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 Hinge-Back album.

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 3.875.

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.

See below.







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.



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Last Revision April 13, 2009