Published in 1872, this is the first Bible produced by A. J. Holman & Company, a firm established that year by three former senior employees of the Harding publishing house: Andrew Jackson Holman, Major J. Parker Martin, and master bookbinder George Lare. Six years later, William Harding sold off the Harding Bible and photo album division to the Holman firm.
This first Holman edition includes explanatory notes, a concordance, a map of Jerusalem, metrical (rhymed) psalms, the Apocrypha, commentary, and a family record section, all summarized discreetly on the title page as “references and various readings.” Printed in red and black, the title page also features Holman’s “Let there be light” seal. The Holman seal can also be found on some other publishers’ title pages, suggesting that Holman may have supplied the Bibles to local distributors who had their own imprints.
A. J. Holman produced dozens of Bible editions during almost nine decades as an independent publishing house. The firm was purchased in 1961 by another Philadelphia publisher, J. B. Lippincott, then re-sold in 1978 and moved to Tennessee. In 1993, the Holman Bible Company was acquired by Broadman Press to form Broadman & Holman, which continues to publish King James Bibles as well as more modern English and Spanish Bible translations.