Henry Altemus Company, Philadelphia

Henry Altemus was a prolific Philadelphia bookbinder, printer and publisher that was active between 1842 and 1936. (See henryaltemus.com). Most of its book publishing business was done between 1889 and 1936. Altemus incorporated in 1900 so that all books published thereafter had the Henry Altemus Company imprint (rather than the Henry Altemus imprint) on their title pages.

Most Altemus books were published in series form. The Jacob Abbott biographies were published in four different Altemus series. All originally came with dust jackets.

Regardless of which series the Abbott books appeared in, the front cover illustration is basically the same. These are shown below

All of the Altemus Abbott books were written by Jacob Abbott except for
- Hernando Cortez
- Maria Antoinette
- Josephine
which were written by John S. C. Abbott (regardless what the Altemus listings note).

1. Abbott's Historical Series was published in 1899-1900. It is by far the rarest of the series that the Abbott biographies were published in. Eighteen Abbott books are in this series. This series can be distinguished from the other series that contained these biographies because of the advertisement below which is in the front of each book.

2. Riviere Series. This 1901 publisher's series included 158 reprints only one of which, William the Conqueror, is an Abbott biography.

3. The 27 volume Stories from History Series (1911-1933) includes eighteen Abbott books. This series is in actuality just a continuation of the Young People's Library Format 3 books. The latter series stopped publishing the Abbott books in 1911. These books can be identified by dating the back ads to a post-1911 publication or by noting a dust jacket reverse which advertises this series.

As noted above, the Altemus book list incorrectly lists Jacob Abbott instead of John S. C. Abbott for:
-Hernando Cortez
-Madame Roland
In this list the author of Maria Antoinette is correctly listed as John S. C. Abbott

4. The Young People's Library included eighteen Abbott biographies in Formats 2 and 3. These formats can easily be distinguished by their spines.

For more information see http://henryaltemus.com/ypl/index.htm.

Format 2 1898-1902

Format 2 1902-1923

Here are the cover pictures of all the Young People's Library Abbott books. There are variant cover colors for most of them. Jackets are not pictured here.

(Abbott's Historical Series and Stories from History Series have the same cover illustrations)

Note that Josephine and Hernando Cortez have Jacob Abbott on the cover rather than the real author- John S. C. Abbott.