FS: First Ed. of Exotic Aquarium Fishes by William T. Innes

by | Jun 11, 2012 | Advanced Aquarist | 0 comments

FS: First Ed. of Exotic Aquarium Fishes by William T. Innes

A rare first edition of William T. Innes’ seminal aquarium book, Extoic Aquarium Fishes.

William T Innes (February 2, 1874 — February 27, 1969) is one of the most influential author, photographer, printer and publisher in our hobby’s history.  He founded the first successful aquarium magazine, The Aquarium, which circulated from 1932 to 1967 (35 years!).  So influential was Innes that when Dr. George S. Myers discovered the neon tetra, he named the fish after Innes: Hyphessobrycon innesi (presently reclassified as Paracheirodon innesi).  But of all his contributions to the aquarium hobby, Innes is best known for his book, Exotic Aquarium Fishes.

Wikipedia describes Exotic Aquarium Fishes as follows: “Innes is best remembered as author and publisher of the book, Exotic Aquarium Fishes, which was printed by his family’s printing firm in Philadelphia in 1935 and went through nineteen editions. It quickly became the seminal work on the subject and has often been called ‘the aquarium bible.’ Beautifully produced with many lavish elements by his own printing firm, and written in a simple but elegant and compelling style by Innes alone, the book also included photographs taken by Innes for each of the fish species. He had decided that the Kodachrome film of the day required too much light and did not accurately show the true colors of various fishes. Instead, he shot black-and-white photographs that were hand-painted, test-printed, and then repainted to fine-tune the color for publication.”

Here is the description of the first edition copy of Exotic Aquarium Fishes according to the eBay seller:

Illustrated by: : WILLIAM T. INNES
Edition: FIRST ED
Size: 9 X 6 1/4
463 Pages
Overall Condition is: VERY GOOD
Exotic Aqaurium Fishes A Work of General Reference By: William T. Innes. Editor The Aquarium Author The Modern Aquarium and Goldfish Varieties and Tropical Aquarium Fishes. Photographic Illustrations by the Author. Innes Publishing Company Philadelphia, U.S.A. First Edition. Gilt design to front cover. Paper title to spine tearing. Maps on front and back paste down page. Color frontispiece. Black and white and color illustrations. Former owner of the book is wriiten on the book. No bookplate.
Link to eBay Listing

Advanced Aquarist is not affiliated with the seller of this eBay and claims no responsibilities for the representation of the book.

Here are photos of pages from the third edition book as photographed by Aquatic Quotient member ‘mrtree.’  You can view more photos in his Aquatic Quotient forum thread.


  • Leonard Ho

    I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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