Occasionally on the cover of an Altemus Bible there
is an engraving with a family name or an identifying icon. For example
a Bible produced for the Benevolent Order of the Elks has a gold gilt
Elk pictured on the cover. (http://henryaltemus.com/publications/elks.htm)
Here is a Bible that has a presentation inscription in gold gilt
letters on the front. It states "Presented to the Ladies Aid of
Corporal W. H. Rihl Camp No.99 S. of U. by George W. Childs.
The Bible is interesting because it is like no other Altemus Bible that
I have seen. It is dated 1887. It has no illustrations. There are no
special features such as dictionaries, marriage pages, commentaries,
etc. in this Bible. Clearly George Childs spent nothing extra on this
gift presentation. The cover though is identical to the Bible shown on
the site as B2. (See: http://henryaltemus.com/bibles/bibles.htm).
Interestingly the B2 Bible has an inscription (family name). The B2
Bible is one of the few Altemus Bible covers that has a space for an
I suspect that many of these featureless, bare bones Bibles were used
as presentation gifts.
George W. Childs (1829-1894) was a well known
literary figure. He was a Philadelphia publisher with the house of
Childs and Peterson. He was also the publisher of the Philadelphia
Public Ledger. His classic autobiography "Recollections" gives insights
into his relationships with a number of literary heavyweights of the
era. These include Hawthorne, Longfellow, Emerson, etc. His biographies
make it clear that he was also a well respected philanthropist. Of
course, what man about town did not have his own cigars. Shown below is
a Childs' cigar box and an autographed card.