It's no secret I didn't invent Bible yoga, the trick of bending leather covers (never the spine!) to demonstrate flexibility. I've already documented Cambridge's use of a similar practice back in the 1980s. Thanks to reader Tim Stewart we can move the date back considerably. He came across the advertisement above in a December 1917 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle. A century ago you could have purchased "the best Bible ever made" from that august publication, for the princely sum of $1.78. Personally, I'm skeptical that the diacritical marks of this self-pronouncing edition made difficult words "so simple a child can pronounce them." Those must have been some interesting children.
J Mark Bertrand