Barker's Illustrated Almanac (1912)
Barker's Illustrated Almanac (1912)

Monthly calendar and almanac with various testimonials for Barker's horse, cattle, and poultry powders.

Almanacs are books published annually that can contain a host of useful information including a calendar of holy days, holidays, farmer's planting dates, weather forecasts, astronomical data and various statistics. The times of the sunrise and sunset as well as tide charts can also be included. Almanacs, in various forms, have been in existence for hundreds of years. It has been stated in the Encyclopedia of Ephemera that the first printed almanac was published in Vienna in 1457 and the Almanack Calculated for New England - the first American almanac was published in 1639 in Cambridge Massachusetts. The Old Farmer's Almanac has been published since 1792, making it the oldest continuously published periodical in North America

According to ABC for Book Collectors (an invaluable source for any book lover) an almanac is: "[c]alendar[s], usually in pocket-book (more rarely sheet) form, augmented with Saints’ days, fair-dates and astronomical and meteorological data; a bestseller from the start and protected by jealously guarded patents, the different titles [were especially] hot rivals in the 17th century...."

The most famous early American almanacs were published by none other than the founding father of the United States - Benjamin Franklin under his pen name of Richard Saunders. The publication, known as Poor Richard's Almanack appeared continually from 1732 to 1758. This particular almanac contained various topics including poems, weather predictions, calendars and astrological information.

One of the most common almanacs that is still familiar in current times, is the Farmers' Almanac - an annual North American publication that has been continuously published since 1818. The Farmers' Almanac is famous for its long-range weather predictions and astronomical data. Weather forecasting has always been the main focus of the almanac and the method used to make its predictions are considered top secret. The identity of the weather forcaster is also closely guarded and is referred to by the pseudonym Caleb Weatherbee.

All About Almanacs

Ladies Birthday Almanac
Ladies Birthday Almanac

Published by the Chattanooga Medicine Company as eary as 1891. Weather info, dates and ads.
Hostetter's Illustrated United States Almanac
Hostetter's Illustrated United States Almanac

Monthly almanac but primarily an advertising medium for Hostetter's celebrated stomach bitters.
Weatherwise's Town and Country Almanack
Weatherwise's Town and Country Almanack

Included in the almanac is a table with the weight and value of coins, and the standard calendar information.
An Astronomical Diary: Or, Almanack
An Astronomical Diary: Or, Almanack

Published by Nathaniel Ames, who was the first to publish an annual American almanac.
The Comic Almanack. First Series (1835-1843)
The Comic Almanack. First Series

The only two annual volumes of Cruikshank's Comic Almanack for which William Makepeace Thackeray supplied stories.
Doan's Directory of the United States
Doan's Directory of the United States

Directory of cities and towns across the U.S., with population. Advertisements for cures for women's painful times.
Swamp-Root Almanac
Swamp-Root Almanac

Monthly calendar and almanac with various testimonials for Kilmer's Swamp-Root kidney diuretic.
Dr. Miles New Weather Almanac and Handbook of Valuable Information
Dr. Miles New Weather Almanac and Handbook of Valuable Information

Almanac reference booklet containing period advertisements for various patent medicines.
Farmer's and Mechanic's Almanac
Farmer's and Mechanic's Almanac

Advertises various home remedies sold by Moffat's, including Vegetable Life Pills and Phoenix Bitters.
Herricks Almanac
Herricks Almanac

Tables of the rising and setting of the sun and the moon and astrological charts
Go Ahead!! The Crockett Almanac 1840
Go Ahead!! The Crockett Almanac 1840

Contains adventures, exploits, sprees and scrapes in the West & life and manners in the backwoods.
Burdock Blood Bitters Almanac
Burdock Blood Bitters Almanac

Homespun wisdom supporting blood bitters, renovator and tonic mixtures, etc.
Dr. Morse's Indian Root Pills Almanac
Dr. Morse's Indian Root Pills Almanac

Includes a calendar, information on eclipses and uses for his Indian root pills.
Shaker Almanac - The Joys and Sorrows of a Poor Old Man
Shaker Almanac - The Joys and Sorrows of a Poor Old Man

Calendar, with an historical event listed for each day, solar and lunar rises and settings, and moon phases.
An Almanac of Twelve Sports with Words by Rudyard Kipling
An Almanac of Twelve Sports with Words by Rudyard Kipling

Poetical excerpts from the works of Rudyard Kipling as well as a full calendar for the year 1898.
The World Almanac & Book of Facts
The World Almanac & Book of Facts

Published since 1868, conveys information such as world changes, tragedies, sports feats etc.
Chapman's New Zealand Almanac for leap-year 1860
Chapman's New Zealand Almanac for leap-year 1860

Includes a scribbling diary section, times of the sun and moon's rising and setting, high water at Auckland and more.
The Golden Calendar with a Perpetual Almanac
The Golden Calendar with a Perpetual Almanac

Includes decorated calendars with copper etching on each plate.
The Farmers Almanac by Andrew Beers
The Farmers Almanac by Andrew Beers

An early Connecticut almanac with many anecdotes and jokes.
The Old Farmer's Almanac
The Old Farmer's Almanac

A reference book containing weather forecasts, tide tables, planting charts, recipes and more.
The New England Almanac and Farmers' Friend
The New England Almanac and Farmers' Friend

Containing besides the astronomical calculations, a variety of matter both useful and entertaining.
The New Golfer's Almanac for the Year 1910
The New Golfer's Almanac for the Year 1910

Containing a calendar and reliable weather predictions for every month with entertaining golfing literature And information.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack

A cricket reference book published annually in the UK and is considered the world's most famous sports reference book.
Poor Richard Improved: Being an Almanack and Ephemeris of the Sun and Moon
Poor Richard Improved: Being an Almanack and Ephemeris of the Sun and Moon

From the press of Benjamin Franklin. Scarce example of Franklin's most famous project.
The Gentlemanís Diary, or the Mathematical Repository
The Gentlemanís Diary, or the Mathematical Repository

A collection of almanacs including the social to the scientific and including a good deal of useful astronomical information.

 

Do you use almanacs? Which is your favorite? - leave a comment:

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