Q: I came across this old Altemus & Co. photogragh album that someone had discarded in the trash. I have no idea how old it really is! One of the pictures shows someone holding a cat. This picture in particular has a “metal” backing to it. I’ve never seen anything like it! Maybe you can help with identifying it?
A: Between 1863 and 1889 Altemus produced this type of photographic album. The 1863 patent was for a special “hinged back design” allowing the albums to lay flat. There were a number of different cover and spine designs which were utilized during this time frame. The albums came in a number of different sizes. They varied in terms of photos per page (1,2, or 4) as well as pages in the book.
The albums’ covers had various embossed designs. The albums’ values vary with the size, condition and interest of any included photos.
For more information see http://henryaltemus.com/albums/photoalbums.htm.