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1791 King James (Collins) Bible – “The Bible of Colonial America”

January 6, 2024  -  Comments 0

Did you know . . .

Between the founding of the United States in 1776 until the ratification of the Constitution in 1787, colonial paper making was exceedingly rare and of poor quality. Hence, the printing of whole Bibles [using American paper] was also a rarity. England, for its part, due to its monopoly on the printing of the most popular book in the world, had prohibited the printing of Bibles within the Colonies prior to the war, although English and European paper was available for other purposes. Nonetheless, some limited-quantity New Testaments [using American paper] were printed during the war as early as 1777, of note the Robert Aitken NT, followed by a NT in 1779 by Isaac Collins. By 1791, sufficient quantities of American-made paper, albeit with less than desirable quality, was made within the United States to produce multiple editions of the Bible in some States. Among these, for the first time, large family Bibles were produced in New York and New Jersey. Isaac Collins, an established printer in Trenton, New Jersey, produced America’s first family Bible (earlier “family” Bibles used English paper, in whole or in part). Isaac Collins beat out New York’s Isaiah Thomas at this feat by a mere 3 months! Of the original 5,000 copies of the Collins Bible, fewer than 100 remain to this day. Because the Collins Bible was the first of its kind, and proved to be error free (not a small feat in itself), and was less expensive than the later Thomas Bible, it soon became known as “The Bible of Colonial America.” Historic Bibles & Engravings is proud to offer a selection of Premium Leaves from the Collins Bible under our “Bi-Fold Portfolio” category, as well as a few dozen Random Leaves under the “Random Leaves” category. Visit our website to see these amazing historic leaves.

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