Q: I was wondering if you can give me any info on this book, the title is “Poems” the author is Oliver W. Holmes and the publisher is Henry Altemus Philadelphia Copyright 1895
A: It is part of the Vademecum Series. See http://henryaltemus.com/series/series180.htm for info on your book.
It is a reprint and only has nominal value.
The first editions of this series are frequently misidentified. Most people think that the earliest publications have the illuminated book appropriate pictorial picture on the right of the front cover. That book however is the second edition.
The first edition and second edition have the same decorative pattern on the left side of the cover. The first edition however has one of a number of different decorative patterns on the right half of the front cover.
Here is an example of the first and second editions of book #7 (Kingfisher’s Egg) in the series.
Here is a new picture for the data base. This book has 1897 on the title page. The significant difference between this book and the other 1897 book besides the cover color is that this book has gold lettering. Generally the gold lettered books predated the silver lettered books in most Altemus publications.
Addresses by Henry Drummond was published by Altemus for the first time in 1891.
In 1891 this title had several different covers. The red, green and blue covers are similar except for the script in the lower left. The writing indicates what is included in the book.
So the red book has four stories and only has 244 pages. The green book has five stories and is 286 pages. Finally the blue book has seven stories and is 322 pages long.
In 1891, 1892 and 1893 similar silver covers were published. The 1891 cover has five stories (286 pages).
In 1892-1893 the silver cover has been seen with eight stories and is 336 pages long.
The stories in these books include
1. The Greatest Thing in the World
2. Pax Vobiscum
3. The Changed Life
4. “First!” A Talk With Boys
5. How to Learn How
6. What is a Christian
7. The Study of the Bible
8. A Talk on Books
Presently I do not know if the 1891 blue, red and green books were published with different stories than shown above but I assume that they did. That is, most likely the red cover can be found with four, five or seven lines.
For pictures and more information, click here
Here is a new dust jacket picture for the data base for this four volume series. Its date is unclear although definitely published between 1918-1933, since that is when the $1.00 books of which this is one were published.
Here is a new picture for Non Series #13.
This book is in wraps and measures 6 x 4.25.
The publication year is unknown since in the Altemus catalogues there is no mention of this title being published in wraps and there are no dating clues within the book.. I assume the years between 1925 and 1933 is a good guess.
Altemus and Company mainly served as a book bindery in the mid 1800′s (1840-1860′s). Although some of the Altemus bound books are easily identified because the Altemus name is seen on the cover or noted within the book, most often the Altemus name is nowhere to be found on an Altemus bound book.
Below is a review from Sartain’s Magazine in 1849. It is noted here that Altemus did the binding on this edition of this book. Below see the beautifully designed cover. Careful examination does show similarities between this ornamental design and that seen on another 1850 book (Leaflets of Memory) published by E.H. Butler. (See http://henryaltemus.com/publications/bindery.htm)
Without the notation in Sartain’s Magazine, this example of the Altemus Bindery would have gone unnoticed.
In 1897 the books of this series had stereotypical white vellum on the left side of the cover. Numerous different decorative patterns have been seen on the right half. With the addition of this book to the data base, eleven decorative patterns have been noted.
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”.
Here is another color cover of the first format of this non series book. I have now seen five different color covers including red, green, gold, grey and blue.