200 Years of The Old Farmer’s Almanac

200 Years of The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Posted by Janice Stillman on 8th Feb 2019

200 Years of The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Take a look back through the Almanac and find out just how much, and how little, our world has changed over the past two centuries. and reality.

Dear History Hound,

It seems so long ago. We were a sprightly 27 years old back in 1819. We’re still pretty sprightly, but we’ve also gained a bit more wisdom, wit, and knowledge over the past 200 years. It’s always fun to take a look back, though. See where you’ve come from, how you’ve grown. For one thing, we’ve accepted our age. In 1819, we were simply The Farmer’s Almanack. By 1919, we had embraced our identity as The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Some of our founding facts and features are still around, too. Weather predictions, astronomical calendars, and the Farmer’s Calendar are part of every Almanac we publish. And some of the advice circulating in 1819 may not be so bad for 2019: “Avoid, as you value your life, drinking cold water, or too much hot rum. Temperance and prudence should be practised in all things.”

We also weren’t above pointing out an absurdity here and there. In the 1819 edition of the Almanack, we had a few things to say about Jarvace Markham, who published a work called The English Housewife, “containing the inward and outward virtues which ought to be in a complete housewife.” This “strange composition,” as we called it, describes the qualifications of a cook as, “First, she must be cleanly both in body and garments: secondly, she must have a quick eye, thirdly a curious nose, fourthly a perfect taste, and ready ear, fifthly she must not be butter-fingered, sweet-toothed, or faint-hearted—for the first will let everything fall, the second will consume what it should increase, and the last will lose time with too much niceness.”

100 Years of Transformation

Life changed quite a bit between 1819 and 1919. World War I had just ended in November of 1918, and like many businesses, The Old Farmer’s Almanac faced the difficulties of the times. “If the reader of the Almanac, during this period of bloodshed, of striving and of sacrifice, shall achieve that calmness of mind which is so often induced by a study of the Heavenly Bodies, with their vastness of time and space—or if in the contemplation of the changing Seasons, with their perpetual renewing of life and of verdure, he shall be brought into a closer contact with Mother Earth, and a better realization of the healing processes which pervade all Nature—so that, like Antaeus of old, it may, in a measure, renew his spirit for the struggle for his country and for mankind—then we are content.”

Another serious issue in 1919 was the weighing and measuring of children. From the 1919 edition: “The improvement of the products of the soil, and of the breeds of live-stock, doubly important as they are at this time, must still be secondary to the cultivation of that priceless product, that most essential live-stock—the child,”

This section was interestingly placed between “Liberty Bonds” and “To Kill Poultry Lice.” In truth, 1919 was an interesting year for titles, overall. That edition also included sections entitled, “Wage War on the Rats,” and “The Periodical Cicada.”

History buffs, however, might find “The Shortage of Sugar” to be an especially interesting read. Lost in many history books are the stories of everyday life. Although only a few paragraphs long, this entry describes the extent of the sugar shortage caused by worldwide damage during the war and petitions Americans to be careful in saving sugar in “every home throughout the United States” as part of the effort to supply allies now in need.


The Daylight-Saving Act

Even as WWI was changing the world, the U.S. Congress was working to change the future in a way that we all recognize. If you’ve ever struggled with the twice-yearly time changes or readjusting to a different time zone on a flight, you can look to Congress’s “Act to save daylight and to provide standard time for the United States,” approved March 19, 1918. The act divided the U.S. into five time zones. It went on to provide “that between the last Sunday in March at 2 A.M. and the last Sunday in October at 2 A.M. in each year the standard time in each zone shall be one hour in advance of the mean astronomical time of the degree of longitude governing each zone, respectively.”

If you want to learn more about eclipses for 1819, visible comets between 1901 and 1917, what people thought of wood fuel for heating in 1919, and much more useful information, wit, and wisdom, you can get it all and a bundle of BONUSES with an Old Farmer’s Almanac Best Value Club Charter Membership!

With an Old Farmer’s Almanac Best Value Club Charter Membership, you’ll get the handsome hardcover 2019 edition of the Almanac, the full-color monthlyEXTRA digital magazine with information about our collected history, our future, and other content not found in the print edition. With an Old Farmer’s Almanac Best Value Club Charter Membership, you’ll learn more about:
  • Solar and lunar eclipses for this year
  • The visible planets, and when you can see them throughout the year
  • How we devise our legendary weather forecasts
  • What’s trending in the garden this year
  • When probate courts were in session in 1819

Introducing The Old Farmer’s Almanac Best Value Club Charter Membership! This new and exciting club is designed especially for you—and it’s packed with articles, advice, best days, facts, and fun that you cannot get anywhere else!

Your Charter Membership gives you all the elements of a true almanac—a “calendar of the heavens” and a “time capsule of the year” for 2019, plus some bonuses when you join today. More about those bonuses in a minute.

Since 1792—in fact, every day since!—The Old Farmer’s Almanac has been trusted and enjoyed by folks from all walks of life: people who grow their own food depend on the planting dates; home cooks, gardeners, and folks hungry for something quick and delicious love the recipes; just about everybody checks on the Moon phases and sunrise and set times … as well as the weather forecasts … to know what to expect on any given day, week, month, or season.

With The Old Farmer’s Almanac Best Value Club Charter Membership, you’ll have content that is both useful and humorous. You’ll discover quirky facts, timeless adages and advice, amusing quotes and profound proverbs, contests, Anecdotes and Pleasantries, Best Days to do things (from fishing to weaning from planting to setting eggs, for example), and so much more!

Your Charter Membership gives you everything that you’ve come to expect and depend on in an Almanac—valuable and accurate content and advice. In fact, fulfillment of readers’ expectations has made our Almanac the best-known and most sought-after Almanac for generations.

Did you know? The Old Farmer’s Almanac is the oldest continuously published periodical in North America! We got started with this valuable content in 1792—when George Washington was president and the U.S. Post Office Department was first established . . . and we’ve been at it ever since then, for 227 years!

People always ask how and why our Almanac has lasted—and continues to be a best seller. The answer is simple: We stay true to the original mission of founder Robert B. Thomas, who declared in an early edition, “Our main endeavor is to be useful, with a pleasant degree of humor.”

We believe that, especially in today’s trying times, finding humor and enjoyment in daily life is important and can be uplifting, and we hope you like our light-hearted fun and find the joy in chuckling at our witty and inspiring words.

This will make you smile, too: Every edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac is fresh, new, and designed to make the year one of the best ever. How do we do that? With entertaining and informative articles. For example:
Want to know about the most fun and fascinating trends for 2019? Here’s a hint: We’ll be exercising in the grocery stores, we’ll be drinking banana milk, shopping in stores with “quiet hours,” and decorating with “scratch-and-sniff” wallpaper. Are you a vegetable gardener or want to be one? Many gardeners consider the Almanac their most valuable tool, so this year, for all of you trying to grow food we’ve got foolproof advice that promises a harvest the first year and every one thereafter. Perhaps you grow flowers—or want to: In the 2019 Almanac, you’ll learn which flowers are edible, when to pick them, and how to use them (e.g., pick apple blossoms in late spring and sprinkle them onto a Waldorf salad, all summer use impatiens as a garnish).

But that’s just the beginning! Here’s just some of what else you’ll discover in the 2019 Almanac:
  • The Faces of Farming: ambitious folks from across the country tell about how they got started, the hurdles they faced, and the rewards of working the land
  • Timetables and advice for spotting meteor showers, bright stars, conjunctions, and other fascinating astronomical events
  • Best days for planting, pruning, weeding, grafting, and controlling pests, plus the easiest-ever soil test (all you need is a pair of men’s clean, white, 100% cotton underwear and a small shovel)
  • Daily weather forecasts for all regions of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii
  • Fresh new ways to savor the asparagus, beet, corn, and cucumber harvests, with “The ABCs of Pickling”
  • Easy, delicious, and Almanac prize-winning recipes using oranges
  • "Adventures in the Zodiac Zone"—what’s behind the Sun and Moon?
  • A look back at "The Day the Sun Exploded"—and a look forward to how it could happen again
  • The “full” explanation of if and why more strange things happen during a full Moon than at other times.
  • Facts, folklore, and traditions in “Telling the Bees”—Did you know that beekeepers often invite their bees to weddings?
  • Thinking of getting a pig, a cow, a goat, or maybe chickens? Or know someone who is? You do not want to miss “The Pros and Cons of Backyard Livestock.”
  • Why a Dog May be Your Best Medicine—and your child’s, too!
  • The Story of Baseball’s Most Amazin' Season, with the “Miracle Mets”
  • "How to Make Sausage at Home"- It’s easier than you think, especially if you make patties instead of links
  • All this and too much more to mention for 288 pages of riveting content!

Plus, the Almanac’s easy-to-follow charts, maps, and photos bring it all to life for you—making it all easy to understand and use.

An Old Farmer’s Almanac Best Value Club Charter Membership will deliver exciting rewards for you—and for a special introductory rate, HALF-OFF right now, to all new Charter Members.

When you join today, you’ll ensure that you get the latest details about Almanac events and forecasts—and you’ll enjoy all these benefits:

  • Your best garden ever—Almanac gardening advice, planting dates, time-saving tips, and detailed guidance from experts will get you growing like never before.

  • You’ll know in advance about every important astronomical event in 2019—when they’re happening, where in the sky, and the details and delights of each one.

  • You’ll have access to the world’s best source of Almanac content—from astronomy and weather to anniversaries and milestone dates; from important (and little known) holidays and religious events to traditional days in calendar folklore.

  • You’ll save time and money when you follow all the practical advice and tips that we deliver to you about everything from gardening to food preparation and cooking.

  • You’ll be a weather expert in your family and circle of friends—no one else you know will have the detailed knowledge about forecasting and weather that you’ll have . . . and for every region of the country!

How can you not consider becoming an Old Farmer’s Almanac Best Value Club Charter Member?

What you’ll get with an Old Farmer’s Almanac Best Value Club Charter Membership.

When you claim your Old Farmer’s Almanac Best Value Club Charter Membership today, your Charter membership will include:

  • The Old Farmer’s 2019 Almanac—Hot off the press, the hard-copy version will be shipped to you right away with everything you’ve come to expect from the world’s premier almanac.
  • Bonus #1: The Old Farmer’s Almanac 2019 Gardening Wall Calendar. Lovely to look at, fun to use! Each month features a beautiful full-color original illustration of seasonal plant or animal life, as well as timeless gardening secrets and advice, folklore, fun facts, and holidays—plus Moon phases to help you use the “Planting by the Moon” chart and have your best garden ever!
  • Bonus #2: The Old Farmer’s Almanac 1819 edition— A printed version will be shipped to you with your order. Take a trip down memory lane and see what one of our early Almanacs looked like! It’s a time capsule of life 200 years ago!
  • Bonus #3: The Old Farmer’s Almanac 1919 edition—A printed version will be shipped to you with your order. Another classic Almanac, this takes you back a century: Compare the content then and now!
  • Bonus #4: The Old Farmer’s Almanac EXTRA! —A treasure trove of digital updates and Almanac content not found in the printed edition, including audio and video multimedia content. EXTRA! is far more interactive and fun than plain printed pages!

And all of this is available to you—right now—when you claim your Old Farmer’s Almanac Best Value Club Charter Membership.

What are you waiting for? Half-off this Charter Membership offer is in effect for you right now!

No other Almanac has so many fun and fascinating facts, timely and accurate events and predictions, and topical and useful articles all in one place for your easy access and use—and covering more regions of North America than any other almanac or resource!

Why not join right now?

Gardeners, weather and sky watchers, and nature lovers everywhere have been enjoying The Old Farmer’s Almanac for generations, and now it’s easier than ever for YOU to experience it all with an Old Farmer’s Almanac Best Value Club Charter Membership.

When we created this new club for folks like you, we wanted to make it easy to use, easy to order, and packed with content and value—that’s why we named it the “Best Value Club”! The Almanac is the ultimate resource for gardening, astronomy, folklore, nature, and more, and now it can be all yours with your Old Farmer’s Almanac Best Value Club Charter Membership.

Why not be among the first—gardeners in your neighborhood; weather and astronomy watchers under the Sun; cooks in your community; trivia fans in your circle; nature-lovers in your area—to join us today and benefit from all the valuable Almanac information that you simply cannot get anywhere else?

Become an Old Farmer’s Almanac Best Value Club Charter Member today—while this special HALF-PRICE offer lasts!


Janice Stillman
Editor, The Old Farmer’s Almanac

P.S. You should act today to claim your Charter Membership in The Old Farmer’s Almanac Best Value Club—while 2019 copies of the Almanac are still fresh . . . and to get your bonuses, too!