Month: February 2018

Robert Aitken’s 1777 New Testament

I’m rounding the back of  my replica of Robert Aitken’s 1777 New Testament.

This was the first New Testament, in English, to be made in the America.  Robert Aitken first advertised his New Testament for sale in the August 28, 1777 edition of the Pennsylvania Evening Post. The transcription of this ad is below:

“Just printed (bound and ready for sale) by R. Aitken, printer and bookseller, opposite the London Coffee-house, Frontstreet, a neat edition of THE NEW TESTAMENT for the use of schools, where may be had writing paper of different kinds, particularly letter paper of the first quality, and several hundreds of excellent quills.”

Before the Revolution, it had been impossible to print an English language version of the Bible in the colonies because no American printers held a license from the King granting permission to print the Bible. The war cut off shipments of Bibles from Great Britain, but also got rid of the need for the license; thereby creating a shortage of Bibles and the ability to print them in America.  Robert Aitken stepped in to fill this void. Beginning in 1777, Aitken began publishing and selling New Testaments. Demand was heavy, so every year, for the next five years, Aitken published a new edition of his New Testament. In total, he published five editions: Aitken’s second edition was published in 1778; his third in 1779; his fourth in 1780; and finally his last and fifth edition was published in 1781. I am unsure of the number of New Testaments Aitken printed each year, but I expect that it was somewhere between one thousand and ten thousand.  To see how I hand bind these New Testaments, please visit our web page at the following link:  Click Here

Samuel Seabury Died

This Day in History: February 25, 1796 Samuel Seabury died.  “Seabury was the first American Episcopal bishop, the second Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, USA, and the first Bishop of Connecticut. He had been a leading Loyalist in New York City during the American Revolution.”

Sources:  &

1614 Book of Common Prayer

These are photos of my original 1614 Book of Common Prayer.   It also contains the 1617 Sternhold & Hopkins Psalter.  Scroll down to see the cover and pages of this book.  I am excited about this book because it also contains a lot of musical notation. This early 17th century text block is bound between wooden boards covered in leather.

Charles Wesley: Hymnal: Web Page: Up and Running

I’ve been making replicas of my original 1767 Charles Wesley Hymnal for the past several weeks.  It is my first new book of the year (2018).  Of course, I spent several months last year getting it ready to print.   My original is the first and only edition of this hymnal and my replica is the first replica or reproduction ever.  Hunter Willis got our web page for this hymnal up and running earlier this morning.  Be one of the first to check it out at the following link:  Check it out

Hunter Willis: The Man Behind our Web Site

Hunter Willis has been busy updating our entire web site.  He has added a lot more  content:  photos, videos, and even an entirely new web page – Charles Wesley’s 1767 Hymnal page.  He just finished today.  Have you seen it yet?  If not, please check out all of our updated pages.  You may see yourself there.  Thanks again, Hunter.